The author of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and Plays Well with Others returns with a collection of four insightful, loving novellas. The works trace how far people will go, through social pretense, sexual and racial secrets, to preserve their own dignity, a necessary mythology.In "The Practical Heart", the narrator's great-aunt, deprived of the family fortune, becomes the young boy's guide to life outside provincial North Carolina. In "Preservation News", a well-born matron eulogizes a gay preservationist who saved everything but his own life. "He's One, Too" chronicles an admired local businessman accused of child molestation. "Saint Monster" reveals a son's memories of a man truly Christ-like and therefore utterly endangered.
"Gurganus is an old-fashioned yarn spinner....[The Practical Heart] reanimates all those familiar truths about art's power to transform and redeem." (The New York Times)
"This collection of four novellas places Gurganus in the pantheon of America's best storytellers." (Library Journal)
"As intriguing as it is deadly funny....An entertaining, disturbing, and inspiring book...[from] one of our greatest living raconteurs." (The Atlantic Monthly)
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Choppy Writing and Sinking Interest