“An author whose laid-back understatements can be as sharp as other writers’ boldest declarations . . . the architect of stories you can’t put down.” —The New York Times
The introduction, discussion questions, author biography, and suggested reading list that follow are intended to enhance your group’s reading of The Whore’s Child, the first collection of short stories from Richard Russo, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his bestselling novel Empire Falls. With a fluency of tone that will surprise even his most devoted readers, he captures both bewildering horror and heartrending tenderness with an absorbing, compassionate authority.
On the heels of his recent Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Empire Falls, Russo, noted for his depiction of declining small-town life in the Northeast, offers up his first collection of short fiction. In these seven stories, the author alternates between tales of children caught in the turmoil of their parents' fighting and tales of middle-aged writers and artists making discoveries about themselves and their pasts. In nearly every story, a male serves as the narrator or central protagonist, and readers observe how his world is shaped and altered by mothers, absent fathers and wives both dead and living. In "Monhegan Light," for example, a Hollywood moviemaker traveling in New England with his young girlfriend meets the painter who, for twenty years, carried on a secret romance with the moviemaker's now-deceased spouse. This collection provides a wealth of delights and rewards from an author who's surely hitting full stride.