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
E. L. Doctorow's novels include Andrew's Brain, Homer and Langley, The March, City of God, Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, Lives of the Poets, World's Fair, Billy Bathgate and The Waterworks. Among his honours are the National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. He died in July 2015.