Synopses & Reviews
The long-awaited second collection of stories from a writer whose first was hailed as "one of the best story collections of the last decade" (Kevin Brockmeier).
In Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge, Peter Orner zeroes in on the strange ways our memories define us: A woman's husband dies before their divorce is finalized; a man runs for governor of Illinois and loses much more than an election; two brothers play beneath the infamous bridge at Chappaquiddick. Employing the masterful compression for which he's become known, Orner presents a kaleidoscope of individual lives viewed in startling, intimate close-up. Whether writing of Geraldo Rivera's attempt to reveal the contents of Al Capone's vault or of a father and daughter trying to outrun a hurricane, he illuminates universal themes. In stories that span considerable geographic ground-from Chicago to Wyoming, from Massachusetts to the Czech Republic — he writes of the past we can't seem to shake, the losses we can't make up for, and how our stories help us reclaim what we thought was gone forever.
"A séance of a book — moody, tragic, sacred by turns." Stuart Dybek, author of The Coast of Chicago
"A new story collection reaffirms Chicago-born Peter Orner's storytelling mastery." Chicago Tribune
"Beautiful....Think Saul Bellow (Chicago setting, rollicking Jewish-style comedy) mated with Chekhov (unassuming, devastating detail), set to the twangy thump of early Tom Petty. Now that promises quite a love child." Boston Globe
"One of our best and most adventurous writers....By casting a wide net and depicting so many and various souls, he urges us toward recognition of the transcendent — the beauty of it all, the one big soul." Daniel Woodrell, author of The Maid's Version
"Peter Orner is a true writers' writer, which is to say a writer writers complain to writers about readers not reading. His novel The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo ranks high among the best works of fiction about Africa ever written by an American, and his collection Esther Stories contains work to rival that of David Means and Tobias Wolff. Orner's latest collection, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge, is bundled into four sections and includes more than fifty pieces of fiction....Imagine Brief Interviews with Hideous Men written by Alice Munro." Tom Bissell, Harper's
About the Author
Peter Orner is the author of three acclaimed books, Esther Stories, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, and Love and Shame and Love. Some of the stories in Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge first appeared in Conjunctions, McSweeney's, Granta, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Bomb, A Public Space, and The Pushcart Prize XXXII. Born in Chicago, Orner now lives in San Francisco.