With her signature humor and compassion, A.M. Homes exposes the heart of an uneasy America in her new collection - exploring our attachments to each other through characters who aren't quite who they hoped to become, though there is no one else they can be.
In "A Prize for Every Player," a man is nominated to run for president by the customers of a big box store, while he and his family do their weekly shopping. At a conference on genocide(s) in the title story, old friends rediscover themselves and one another - finding spiritual and physical comfort in ancient traditions. And in "Hello Everybody" and "She Got Away," Homes revisits a Los Angeles family obsessed with the surfaces and frightened of what lives below.
In the nearly three decades since her seminal debut collection The Safety of Objects, Homes has been celebrated by readers and critics alike as one of our boldest and most original writers, acclaimed for her psychological accuracy and "satire so close to the truth it's terrifying" (Ali Smith). Her first book since the Women's Prize-winning May We Be Forgiven, Days of Awe is a major new addition to her body of visionary, fearless, outrageously funny work.
A darkly comic novel of twenty-first-century domestic life and the possibility of personal transformation.
Harold Silver has spent a lifetime watching his younger brother, George, a taller, smarter, and more successful high-flying TV executive, acquire a covetable wife, two kids, and a beautiful home in the suburbs of New York City. But Harry, a historian and Nixon scholar, also knows George has a murderous temper, and when George loses control the result is an act of violence so shocking that both brothers are hurled into entirely new lives in which they both must seek absolution.
From The Mistress’s Daughter:
“Christmas 1992, I go home to Washington, D.C. ‘We have something to tell you,’ my mother says. ‘Someone is looking for you.’ After a lifetime spent in a virtual witness-protection program, I’ve been exposed. I am the mistress’s daughter. My birth mother was young, unmarried, and my father older with a family of his own. When I was born, a lawyer called my adoptive parents and said, ‘Your package has arrived. . . . ’ The fragile narrative, the plot of my life has been abruptly recast. In my dreams, my birth mother is the queen of queens, and she has made a fabulous life for herself, as ruler of the world, except for one missing link—me.”
From the author of Music for Torching, an uplifting and apocalyptic tale set in Los Angeles about one man's efforts to bring himself back to life.
Since her debut in 1989, A.M. Homes has been among the boldest and most original voices of her generation, acclaimed for the psychological accuracy and unnerving emotional intensity of her storytelling. Her keen ability to explore how extraordinary the ordinary can be is at the heart of her touching and funny new novel, her first in six years
The City of Angels—possibly the most surreal place in the United States—is a unique amalgam of past and present, tradition and revolution, dreamscape and reality. Whether in history books or on the silver screen, the Los Angeles landscape has long served as an ever-shifting backdrop against which countless American anxieties and aspirations play out.
The most daring voice of her generation, A.M. Homes writes with terrifying compassion about the things that matter most. Homes's distinctive narratives illuminate our dreams and desires, our memories and losses, and our profound need for connection, and demonstrate how extraordinary the ordinary can be. In "Chinese Lesson," we meet Geordie, a man watching over his wandering, senile mother-in-law by means of an electronic chip implanted in the back of her neck. In "Remedy," an advertising executive bolts from the city one afternoon for the imagined comfort of her childhood home and finds that her parents have allowed Ray, an eccentric wellness guru, to move in. Sexy and inspiring, "Georgica" offers a meditative narrative about one woman's unconventional strategy for getting pregnant. "The Former First Lady and the Football Hero" is the deeply moving, darkly comic story of a former First Lady's courage in dealing with the President as his mind slowly evaporates.
Flash-frozen in the anxious culture of a suburban subdivision, Paul and Elaine have two boys and a beautiful home, yet they find themselves thoroughly, inexplicably stuck. Obsessed with "making things good again," they spin the quiet terrors of family life into a fantastical frenzy that careens out of control, doing and saying all the things we dare not, throwing into full relief the chasm between our public and private selves. From a strange and hilarious encounter on the floor of the pantry with a Stepford-wife neighbor to an ill-conceived plan for a tattoo, to a sexy town cop who shows up at every inopportune moment, to a house-cleaning team in space suits, to a mistress calling on the cell phone, to a hostage situation at the school, Homes creates characters so outrageously flawed and deeply human that they are entirely believable.
The End of Alice sneaks us in the back doors of our upright suburban neighborhoods to reveal the impulses that even in our frank, outspoken times we don't talk about. This is a tale told by a pedophile in his twenty-third year in a maximum security prison. He is intelligent; he is witty; he is profoundly dangerous. Beyond the reality of his stark cell and the violent perversion of the other inmates lies his imagination, which he turns to his past, to an "accident" with a little girl named Alice, and now to the erotic life of a nineteen-year-old suburban co-ed who draws him into a flirtatious epistolary exchange. At home on summer break from college, she writes to the prisoner about her taste for young boys, her lust for one twelve-year-old in particular.
Appendix A: is an elaboration on A.M. Homes' novel, The End Of Alice: part romance, part horror story, darkly comic and sinister, "Alice" masterfully captures the extremes of sexual obsession and desire, luring the reader into the lives of characters simultaneously repellent and seductive. Over the five years it took to complete the novel, Homes assembled a collection of epistemological evidence, clues to the narrator's mind, his "confession," and photo scrapbook, his paintings, trinkets he pocketed: a ring, a watch, three teeth, the knife--all remnants of his lingering and deadly infatuation with a little girl called Alice.
In the conflicted, unnerving world of possibilities fostered by A.M. Homes's powerful imagination, two women of tremendous magnetism discover a tie that binds them—the intimacy that exists between therapist and patient—until it threatens to undo them both. And as their relationship begins to extend beyond the allotted "fifty-minute hour," what has started out as simple counsel and friendship develops into excess of the most moving, and frightening, kind.
Published to overwhelming critical acclaim, this remarkable collection of short stories established A.M. Homes as one of the most provacative and daring writers of her generation. Here you'll find the cult classic. "A Real Doll," the tale of a teenage boy's erotic obsession with his sister's Barbie doll; "Adults Alone," which first introduced Paul and Elaine, the crack-smoking yuppie couple whose marriage careens out of control in Homes's novel Music for Torching; and "Looking for Johnny," in which a kidnapped boy, having failed his abductors expectations, is returned home.
In Jack, A.M. Homes gives us a teenager who wants nothing more than to be normal—even if being normal means having divorced parents and a rather strange best friend. But when Jack's father takes him out in a rowboat on Lake Watchmayoyo and tells his son he's gay, nothing will ever be normal again. Out of Jack's struggle to redefine what "family" means, A.M. Homes crafts a novel of enormous humor, charm, and resonance, the most convincing, funny, and insightful novel about adolescence since The Catcher in the Rye.