A dazzling collection of short works crafted with all the weight and resonance of the novels for which E.L. Doctorow is famous
You will find yourself set down in a mysterious redbrick house in rural Illinois ('A House on the Plains'), working things out with a baby-kidnapping couple in California ('Baby Wilson'), living on a religious-cult commune in Kansas ('Walter John Harmon'), sharing the heartrending cross-country journey of a young woman navigating her way through three bad marriages ('Jolene: A Life'), and witnessing an FBI special agent at a personal crossroads while he investigates a grave breach of White House Security ('Child, Dead, in the Rose Garden').
Comprised in a variety of moods and voices, these remarkable portrayals of a corrupted spiritual landscape show a modern master at the height of his powers.
The perfect short story is a novel boiled down to a bouillon cube, or perhaps a single drop of water with a world reflected in its surface. These intense, vivid snapshots of the American psyche, by that old wizard, E.L. ragtime Doctorow, come close to that platonic ideal... Doctorow has a deep respect for all his characters, and a genius for finding remarkable things in outwardly unremarkable lives - THE TIMES
The exact use of language, allied to an underlying compassion, makes this writer hugely appealing - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Powerfully compact and direct - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
Though they number just five, each of these masterful short stories lingers in the mind with the weight of a far longer work' - DAILY MAIL
The stories in E.L. Doctorow s new collection are all about the improvisation of family life, and the small-scale crimes required to sustain the illusion of marriage and parenthood' - DAILY TELEGRAPH