One of the most celebrated—and unflinching—chroniclers of modern life now explores, in this masterful collection of short stories, the grand theme of intimacy, love, and their failures. And only a storyteller of Richard Ford's remarkable agility, insight, and candor could envision with such felicity our most fallible human efforts to achieve what we consider most important with one another: to be faithful and sincere, empathetic and patient, to be honest and passionate and finally loving toward those we care for or merely, if desperately, desire.
As in all of Ford's work, the settings are as distinct as the Connecticut countryside is from New Orleans, or a Michigan ski resort from Grand Central Station. Yet in each he is drawn to liaisons in and out and to the sides of marriage. An illicit visit to the Grand Canyon reveals a vastness even more profound . . . An exacting career woman celebrates Christmas with her adamantly post-nuclear family . . . A couple weekending in Maine try to
recapture the ardor that has disappeared, both gradually and suddenly, from their life together . . . A boy confronts his estranged father on a hunting trip and finds a disappointment that will change him forever . . . As they drive through a spring evening, a young wife confesses to her husband the affair she had with the host of the dinner party they're about to join.
It is within such relations, these extraordinary stories suggest, that our entire sense of right and wrong is enacted, and the rigorous intensity Richard Ford brings to these vivid, unforgettable dramas marks this as his most powerfully arresting book to date—confirming the judgment of the New York Times Book Review that "nobody now writing looks more like an American classic."