One of the most acclaimed writers of our day, award-winning author Elizabeth McCracken is an undisputed virtuoso of the short story, and this new collection features her most vibrant and heartrending work to date. A recent widower and his adult son ferry to a craggy Scottish island in search of puffins. An actress who plays a children’s game-show villainess ushers in the New Year with her deadbeat half-brother.
And on a trip to a water park with their son, two fathers each confront a deep-rooted personal fear. With sentences that crackle and spark and showcase her trademark wit, McCracken shows how the mysterious bonds of family are tested, transformed, fractured, and fortified. ‘McCracken has a gift for spotting the comic potential in situations many of us have endured…
Her prose is stippled with just-so observations’ Observer’McCracken is a totally assured performer: even seemingly throwaway perceptions are often memorably poetic, and there is a hint of melancholy under the comedy’ Sunday Times’This incisive, warm-blooded collection of stories is populated by outsiders… McCracken illuminates qualities of human nature through fragments of her characters’ lives’ New Yorker