Carolyn Cooke's stories have been featured in several volumes of PRIZE STORIES: THE O. HENRY AWARDS and THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES. Her highly anticipated debut collection tells hilarious and often savage truths about people struggling within the confines of history, society, and class.
Mr. Sargent, the aging Brahmin aesthete of the title story, scribbles his epiphanies on cocktail napkins and covers them up with his drinks. A Maine innkeeper shoots his wife, who remains bitterly loyal to him until the death of their son. A whole family conspires to keep the birth of yet another dirt-poor relation a secret from his grandmother. On the icy cobblestone streets of Boston and the rockbound coast of Maine, these vividly realized characters try to reconcile habits of obedience and self-reliance with the urgent desire to capture the wild core of life. The result is an explosion of exquisitely tuned voices, as authentic as they are unforgettable.