Few literary authors write their first novel and watch it magically
turn into a New York Times bestseller. But that's
what happened to Dennis McFarland when he wrote The Music Room
in 1990. In 1994, his second novel, School for the Blind,
received stunning reviews around the country and confirmed his
reputation as a first-class storyteller and prose stylist. Now
we have A Face at the Window, a novel that follows Cookson Selway, an
escapist with a tormented alcoholic past, who, while vacationing in England
with his wife, becomes haunted by the ghost of a young girl who
died in a fall from his hotel window sixty years earlier. Selway must find out
why he is being haunted by the ghosts--or are they merely odd
dreams and fantasies?--that are beginning to jeopardize his marriage.
To introduce you to McFarland's eerie and poignant writing, we've brought you an excerpt and a reading from the new novel, and an essay in which
the author reflects on some of his recurrent themes: death, the
weight of the past, and ghosts of both a real and metaphorical nature.