Synopses & Reviews
Now, in her long-awaited first short story collection, the author illuminates the mother-daughter relationship from angles that everyone in the family can relate to. Aging parents, wayward children, and nervous stepmothers are all brought to life with graceful restraint and delicacy.
"The 13 stories in McHugh's debut collection offer poignant and sometimes heartwrenching explorations of personal relationships and their transformative power. In 'Presence,' a woman helps her husband through an experimental therapy for his Alzheimer's disease and, by the story's end, is less his spouse than a nurturing mother to his developing personality. 'In the Air' bridges three generations with its account of the different emotions a woman wrestles with as she anxiously tracks her wandering senile mother and her rebellious teenage daughter by means of biologically implanted homing devices. 'Laika Comes Back Safe' represents so believably the feelings two school friends share about their lives in dysfunctional families that the revelation that one occasionally transforms into a werewolf seems entirely within the realm of possibility. Whether writing an alternate Civil War history in 'The Lincoln Train' or a tale of extraterrestrial anthropology in 'The Cost to Be Wise,' McHugh (Nekropolis) relates her stories as slices of ordinary life whose simplicity masks an emotional intensity more often found in poetry. The universality of these tales should break them out to the wider audience they deserve. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Insightful, beautifully written debut collection.
About the Author
Maureen F. McHugh has spent most of her life in Ohio, but has lived in New York City and, for a year, in Shijiazhuang, China. She is the author of four novels. Her first novel, China Mountain Zhang, won the Tiptree Award and her latest novel, Nekropolis, was a Book Sense 76 pick and New York Times Editor's Choice.