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Synopsis

"Gorgeously crafted stories."
-Nancy Pearl (Book Lust) on Morning Edition, "Books for a Rainy Day"

"My favorite thing about her is the wry, uncanny tenderness of her stories. She has the astonishing ability to put her finger on the sweet spot right between comedy and tragedy, that pinpoint that makes you catch your breath. You're not sure whether to laugh out loud or cry, and you end up doing both at once."
-Dan Chaon

"When I first read China Mountain Zhang many years ago, Maureen McHugh instantly became, as she has remained, one of my favorite writers. This collection is a welcome reminder of her power-they are resonant, wise, generous, sharp, transporting, and deeply, deeply moving. McHugh is enormously gifted; each of these stories is a gift."
-Karen Joy Fowler

"Wonderfully unpredictable stories, from the very funny to the very grim, by one of our best and bravest imaginative writers."
-Ursula K. Le Guin

"Enchanting, funny and fierce by turns -a wonderful collection!"
-Mary Doria Russell

* Story Prize finalist.
* A Book Sense Notable Book.

In her luminous, long-awaited debut collection, award-winning novelist Maureen F. McHugh wryly and delicately examines the impacts of social and technological shifts on families. Using beautiful, deceptively simple prose, she illuminates the relationship between parents and children and the expected and unexpected chasms that open between generations.

- A woman introduces her new lover to her late brother.
- A teenager is interviewed about her peer group's attitudes toward sex and baby boomers.
- A missing stepson sets a marriage on edge.
- Anthropologists visiting an isolated outpost mission are threatened by nomadic raiders.

McHugh's characters-her Alzheimers-afflicted parents or her smart and rebellious teenagers-are always recognizable: stubborn, human, and heartbreakingly real.

This new trade paperback edition has added material for book clubs and reading groups, including an interview with the author, book club questions and suggestions, and a reprint of Maureen's fabulous essay, "The Evil Stepmother."

Maureen F. McHugh has spent most of her life in Ohio, but has lived in New York City and, for a year, in Shijiazhuang, China. She is the author of four novels. Her first novel, China Mountain Zhang, won the Tiptree Award, and Nekropolis, was a Book Sense 76 pick and New York Times Editor's Choice.

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