From the author of Mrs. and TheFundamentals of Play comes a brilliant and biting short story collection about pride, privilege, and our nagging need to belong.
In an era of “hot takes” and easy generalizations, this collection reclaims the absurdities and paradoxes of life as it is actually lived from the American fantasy of “niceness”. In Macy’s world, human desires and fatal blind spots slam headlong into convenient, social-media-driven narratives that would sort us into neat boxes of insider or outsider; good or bad; with us or against us.
Time and again, whether at home or in the age-old role of Americans abroad, Macy’s women see their good intentions turn awry. A woman who tries to do a good deed for an underprivileged child sees it go horribly wrong. A wife, attempting to be a good host to a friend’s strange ex-boyfriend, finds herself in a compromised situation. And, in the title story, a newlywed fancies herself a Euro-sophisticate until an accident reminds her just how truly foreign she really is.
In tales where shocking and sometimes brutal events disabuse characters of their most cherished beliefs, Macy forgoes easy moralization in favor of uncomfortable truths that reveal the complexity of what it means to be human.
About the Author
Caitlin Macy is the author of Mrs., The Fundamentals of Play and Spoiled. The recipient of an O’Henry Award, Macy’s work has been published in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine among other publications. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
"Mrs. could be the next Big Little Lies." —Entertainment Weekly
"Deeply moving, hugely entertaining, utterly brilliant. As an observer of human behavior Macy rivals Tom Wolfe and Edward St. Aubyn. Mrs. is a major novel, and Macy is an essential American voice."—Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians (on Mrs.)
"I love novels that are both rousing and intelligent, and Mrs. was just that—a riveting, complex, and potent story of money, friendships, and family. Macy masters New York's Upper East Side because she goes beyond the vanities and delves into its layers, its distinct voices and characters. She puts you in the territory of the well-heeled and shows their heart and soul."—Kaui Hart Hemmings, author of The Descendants