The best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars returns to his Pacific Northwest settings-and moves beyond them-in ten sharply observed, funny, and wise new stories that explore the mysteries of love, and unravel our complex desires to connect with others.
Ranging from teenage to middle-age, the voices that inhabit Problems with People offer humorous or searing but always tightly focused accounts of the universal quest to understand one another-individually, and as part of our political and historical moment. Their stories are sometimes shot through with tragedy-the long-ago loss of a young boyfriend, a son's death at sea-while in others, the mere circumstances of our cultures and selves-whether it is being Jewish; overweight and single; a tourist in a history-haunted land; or on the brink of a diminished old age-prompt questions about our sense of reality and belonging. Spanning diverse geographies-across America and in distant countries including Nepal, South Africa, and Germany-these stories showcase Guterson's signature gifts for characterization, psychological nuance, emotional suspense, and evocation of the natural world. They celebrate the small, unexpectedly brightening surprises that lurk within the dramas of our daily lives.
David Guterson is the author of the novels East of the Mountains, Our Lady of the Forest, The Other, Ed King, and Snow Falling on Cedars, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award; a story collection, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind; and Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense. He lives in Washington State.
“Deeply affecting . . . A strong sense of anonymity and isolation connects the characters in this collection . . . Missed signals, isolation, distancing oneself from social contact—all describe the emotional core of Guterson’s narratives. A haunting collection from a thoughtful storyteller.” —Donna Bettencourt, Library Journal (starred review)