From the award-winning author of Mrs. and The Fundamentals of Play comes a brilliant and biting short story collection about pride, privilege, and our nagging need to belong.
In an era of “hot takes” and easy generalizations, this collection reclaims the absurdities and paradoxes of life as it is actually lived from the American fantasy of “niceness”. In Macy’s world, human desires and fatal blind spots slam headlong into convenient, social-media-driven narratives that would sort us into neat boxes of insider or outsider; good or bad; with us or against us.
Time and again, whether at home or in the age-old role of Americans abroad, Macy’s women see their good intentions turn awry. A woman who tries to do a good deed for an underprivileged child sees it go horribly wrong. A wife, attempting to be a good host to a friend’s strange ex-boyfriend, finds herself in a compromised situation. And, in the title story, a newlywed fancies herself a Euro-sophisticate until an accident reminds her just how truly foreign she really is.
In tales where shocking and sometimes brutal events disabuse characters of their most cherished beliefs, Macy forgoes easy moralization in favor of uncomfortable truths that reveal the complexity of what it means to be human.