In God's Fool""Mark Slouka, the acclaimed author of Lost Lake and Other Stories, presents us with an unparalleled novel about Chang and Eng, the original Siamese twins. In a masterstroke of creative storytelling, we experience their lives through Chang's eyes. Despite the incomparable predicament of their physical condition, Chang is wrapped in ordinary grace and suffering, searching for tranquility as he travels from Siam's marketplace to Parisian salons, to London's underworld and P.T. Barnum's side show, all the while improbably connected to a man who becomes his sworn enemy. In a last attempt at a normal life, Chang and Eng retire from the sideshow and move to the American South where they marry two sisters and Chang finds short-lived peace and redemption in his love for his son Christopher. This peace, however, is overtaken as events in their adopted home country force them into a final terrifying battle with fate.
About the Author
Mark Slouka is the child of Czech immigrants himself, and draws on his personal experience and the inevitable intrusions of the past on the present. He is the author of the novel God s Fool, named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, the short story collection Lost Lake, a New York Times Notable Book in 1998, and the nonfiction work War of the Worlds. Three of his essays have been selected for inclusion in The Best American Essays, and his short story The Woodcarvers Tale won the National Magazine Award for fiction. He is a contributing editor at Harper s Magazine, and is currently the director for the writing program at the University of Chicago.
"If you can read [this] novel without being astonished and touched, then you'd better check to see if your heart is made of stone . . . simply brilliant. A book of the year." —The Dallas Morning News
"Slouka writes with the bare-bones ferocity of Jerzy Kosinski and the visual intensity of John Updike." —Boston Herald
“Exceptionally beautiful. . . . [A] story where the power of language and of reflection on the nature of connection is more essential, and compelling, than any retelling of historical events.” —The Washington Post Book World