A father dealing equivocally with his son’s ambiguous sexuality conducts a drunken tour of a famous artist’s birthplace. Two lonely women turn the tables on an antic stalker. A shy college kid comes face to face with the devil after he trysts with his roommate’s errant girlfriend. An aging collector reaches a new understanding of his younger lover’s emotional distance when he goes abroad to procure a rare clock. Pursued by a mysterious stranger, a young man tries to come to terms with his abusive past.
In these nine stories, James Morrison writes about the intricate relation between tenderness and cruelty, about the burdens and freedoms of selfhood, the vagaries of identity, and the connections and disconnections among people across a wide range of human experience. Whether recounting the tale of a well-to-do housewife under siege or the ups and downs of a grungy garage band, Morrison portrays the sorrows of loneliness—or the uncommon triumphs of genuine contact—in a prose at once wry and tender, disconsolate and compassionate.