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A young intellectual is called into active duty and receives a rude awakening to the realities of military service. An Ivy League graduate is pressed casually into Intelligence work and encounters himself mirrored in his new-found friend—a Russian spy. An arrogant professor finds himself unable to resist the unschooled energy of a spunky female student. A lonely apprentice at a New York law firm is flattered by the attentions of two mentors—one a senior partner, the other an enchantingly extravagant woman—whose sophistication make his own naivety painfully apparent. Each story in this luminous quartet explorers an emotional turning-point, either toward or away from self-knowledge—that moment when a young man of privilege suddenly finds his carefully nurtured superiority crumbling. In Casey’s beautiful prose, the experiences of these solitary narrators resonate with remarkable power.
“A delight—and a triumph.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Rich with psychological insight—not to mention eloquence and originality.” —Harper’s Magazine
“Perceptive. . . . Compelling.” —Time
“Arresting and distinctive. . . . The four stories in this collection are extremely impressive. . . . Completely convincing.” —The Miami Herald
“Each of the stories contains small gems. . . . The first, ‘A More Complete Cross-Section,’ is a masterpiece, beautifully written in every line.” —Joyce Carol Oates, The New Republic
“A major novelist at the top of his form, Casey captures not only the texture of individual lives, but the shape and momentum of all lives that begin with the best intentions, then stray off course.” —Chicago Tribune
“[Casey] is an astute observer of the ruses as well as the private confrontations that govern our behavior.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Testimony and Demeanor is serious writing that deserves serious reading.” —Jonathan Yardley, Washington Star
“[Casey’s] descriptions of nature and feelings are tautly lyric. . . . He is reclaiming and extending a rich tradition of American literature.” —Newsweek
“Casey . . . is an accomplished craftsman and a delight to read. No mode seems beyond him . . . all is understated and imbued with a powerful grace.” —Lynne Sharon Schwartz, author of The Writing on the Wall
“Even better reading the second time.” —Houston Chronicle