When his wife dies in a fall from a tree in their backyard, linguist Paul Iverson is wild with despair. In the days that follow, Paul becomes certain that Lexy's death was no accident. Strange clues have been left behind: unique, personal messages that only she could have left and that he is determined to decipher. So begins Paul's fantastic and even perilous search for the truth, as he abandons his everyday life to embark on a series of experiments designed to teach his dog Lorelei to communicate. Is this the project of a madman? Or does Lorelei really have something to tell him about the last afternoon of a woman he only thought he knew? At the same time, Paul obsessively recalls the early days of his love for Lexy and the ups and downs of life with the brilliant, sometimes unsettling woman who became his wife.
About the Author
Carolyn Parkhurst holds an MFA in creative writing from American University. She has published fiction in the North American Review, the Minnesota Review, Hawai'i Review, and the Crescent Review. She lives in Washington, D. C., with her husband and their son.
The Dogs of Babel is a cuddly tall tale about the rituals of grief. Yet it poses some uncomfortable questions: Are spouses as unknowable as pets? Can we help but go to absurd lengths to avoid confronting the reality of death? Can radical surgery improve a dog's likelihood of talking? In the end, Lorelei does tell Paul everything he needs to know. But, like this strange and winning novel, he uncovers truth in a wholly unexpected way. Mark Rozzo