The Country of Marriage is a window into the lives of men as they confront the darkness at the heart of domestic existence. And with this collection of stories, Anthony Giardina takes his place among the finest writers of short fiction in America today. His work has appeared in Harper's, Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine and has been showcased alongside the work of such contemporary giants as Tobias Wolff and Robert Stone. He is that rare artist whose stories will endure.
The Country of Marriage shows, with frightening clarity, that the most ordinary lives are fraught with secret dreams and frustrations that can both support and sabotage everyday love. Giardina looks at our relationships--with an eye capable of clinical precision but never devoid of compassion--and gives voice to the emotions that lie unexplored and unexpressed beneath their seemingly placid surface.
In "Days with Cecilia,'' a highly articulate shop teacher reveals by attrition the sexual secret of his marriage. In "The Lake," a young fireman confronts his complicity in the murder of his best friend's wife. And in "The Films of Richard Egan," the aborted career of an almost-was film star finds its echo in a suburban boy's life.
These are emotional landscapes at once familiar and unsettling, with characters who are instantly recognizable but endlessly surprising. Brilliantly observed and masterfully told, The Country of Marriage is an unforgettable montage of lives of dwindling promise, of stubborn hope, of emotional atrophy, and of the courage to take root in the indifferent soil of modern existence.
About Anthony Giardina
The author of two novels and a short-story collection, Anthony Giardina has has two plays produced to critical acclaim at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, the Manhattan Theatre Club, Arena Stage in Washington, and elsewhere. He has written for Harper’s, Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine.