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In this powerful and virtuosic collection of interlocking stories, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist takes the form to new heights.
In his orchestral and moving new book, Peter Orner, a writer who "doesn't simply bring his characters to life, he gives them souls" (New York Times Book Review), chronicles people whose lives are at inflection points. In forty-four compressed gems, he grips us with a series of defining moments. Whether it's a first date that turns into a late-night road trip to a séance in an abandoned airplane hangar, or a family's memories of the painful mystery surrounding a forgotten uncle's demise, Orner reveals how our fleeting decisions between kindness and abandonment chase us across time. These stories are anchored by a poignant novella that delivers not only the joys and travails of a forty-year marriage, but an entire era in small-town New England. Bristling with the crackling energy of life itself, Maggie Brown & Others marks the most sustained achievement to date for "a master of his form" (New York Times).
"No one captures the inner lives of vanished places and people like Peter Orner. Radiant, funny, full of wisdom and heart, his vibrant portraits pulse with authentic energy and are as perfectly tuned to his characters' idiosyncratic speech as those of Grace Paley." —Andrea Barrett, National Book Award-winning author of Ship Fever and The Air We Breathe
"To read Peter Orner's stories is to live simultaneously in so many lives: the reader's memories intertwine with the characters', the characters' dreams resurface in the reader's. People we have loved and lost, people we have encountered and missed—they wait for us to rediscover them in Orner's stories. This book, exquisitely written, is as necessary and expansive as life." —Yiyun Li, author of Where Reasons End and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers
"The stories in Peter Orner's Maggie Brown & Others feel eternally human, less like they've been written and rather like they've been drawn by patient hands from an ancient aquifer of memory, longing, and soulful knowing." —Adam Johnson, author of Pulitzer Prize winner The Orphan Master's Son and National Book Award winner Fortune Smiles