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To this irresistible debut collection of short stories, Richard Russo brings the same bittersweet wit, deep knowledge of human nature, and spellbinding narrative gifts that distinguish his best-selling novels. His themes are the imperfect bargains of marriage; the discoveries and disillusionments of childhood;the unwinnable battles men and women insist on fighting with the past.
A cynical Hollywood moviemaker confronts his dead wife’s lover and abruptly realizes the depth of his own passion. As his parents’ marriage disintegrates, a precocious fifth-grader distracts himself with meditations on baseball, spaghetti, and his place in the universe. And in the title story, an elderly nun enters a college creative writing class and plays havoc with its tidy notions of fact and fiction. The Whore’s Child is further proof that Russo is one of the finest writers we have, unsparingly truthful yet hugely compassionate and capable of creating characters real that they seem to step off the page.
“An author whose laid-back understatements can be as sharp as other writers’ boldest declarations….the architect of stories you can’t put down.” —The New York Times
“The most expansive of contemporary writers.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Straightforward and engaging from the first page… Mr. Russo makes writing short stories seem effortless.” —Wall Street Journal
“These beautifully crafted stories, made more appealing by their rueful humor, are the work of a writer at the top of his game.” —New York Post