Synopses & Reviews
A surprised Southern matriarch is confronted by her family at an intervention. . . . A life-altering break-in triggers insomniac introspection in a desperate actor. . . . Streetwise New York City neighbors let down their guard for a naïve puppeteer and must suffer the consequences. . . .
In this stunning collection of short stories—five of which are being published for the very first time—bestselling, award-winning author Debra Dean displays the depth and magnitude of her extraordinary literary talent. Replete with the seamless storytelling and captivating lyrical voice that made her debut novel, The Madonnas of Leningrad, a national bestseller, Dean's Confessions of a Falling Woman is a haunting, satisfying, and unforgettable reading experience.
"Dean follows her debut novel, The Madonnas of Leningrad, with a humorous collection chronicling struggling actors and actresses, therapy sessions and romantic relationships on the brink of disaster. After a bizarre break-in, the 30-something actor-narrator of 'Dan in the Gray Flannel Rat Suit' finds himself on the cusp of fleeing a cruel New York with his wife and child. 'The Queen Mother' reveals an actress returning to Louisiana to help coax her dramatic, alcoholic mom to rehab. In 'The Afterlife of Lyle Stone,' a Seattle attorney allows a vivid dream to unhinge his waking life, while a group of creative-minded neighbors have their lives shaken up by a Muppet-like puppeteer in 'What the Left Hand Is Saying.' Herself a former actress, Dean illuminates the nastiness of the business and the psychic toll of performance, writing about failure and loss with unfailing comic precision: 'But gradually I fall under the spell of my own acting, or the rhythm of the act, it doesn't matter which,' the narrator of 'Romance Manual' says of sleeping with a fellow cast member. Readers will certainly forget themselves in these sparkling stories, pausing over small, strange moments that change entire lives." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Dean is a marvelous chameleon of a writer, adapting, reflecting, revealing multiple, generous worlds with perceptiveness, humor and light.” A. Manette Ansay, author of Blue Water and Vinegar Hill
“A humorous collection . . . Readers will certainly forget themselves in these sparkling stories, pausing over small, strange moments that change entire lives.” Publishers Weekly
“An attractive wry humor ripples through this collection of ten stories . . . Beautifully calibrated . . . Dean has a fine appreciation for the way chance can save or doom careers and marriages. More, please.” Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Debra Dean's bestselling debut novel, The Madonnas of Leningrad was a New York Times Editors' Choice, a #1 Booksense Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Novel, and an American Library Association Notable Book of the Year. It has been published in twenty languages. Her collection of short stories, Confessions of a Falling Woman, won the Paterson Fiction Prize and a Florida Book Award. A native of Seattle, she and her husband, poet Clifford Paul Fetters, now live in Miami where she teaches at Florida International University.