2014 National Book Award Longlist, Fiction
Thunderstruck and Other Stories
The Dial Press/ Random House
ABOUT THE BOOK
Nine vibrant stories navigate the fragile space between love and loneliness. In “Property,” a young scholar, grieving the sudden death of his wife, decides to refurbish the Maine rental house they were to share together by removing his landlord’s possessions. In “Peter Elroy: A Documentary by Ian Casey,” the household of a successful filmmaker is visited years later by his famous first subject, whose trust he betrayed. In “The Lost & Found Department of Greater Boston,” the manager of a grocery store becomes fixated on the famous case of a missing local woman, and on the fate of the teenage son she left behind. And in the title story, a family makes a quixotic decision to flee to Paris for a summer, only to find their lives altered in an unimaginable way by their teenage daughter’s risky behavior.
In Elizabeth McCracken’s universe, heartache is always interwoven with strange, charmed moments of joy—an unexpected conversation with small children, the gift of a parrot with a bad French accent—that remind us of the wonder and mystery of being alive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elizabeth McCracken is the author of An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, The Giant’s House, which was a Finalist for the National Book Award, Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry, and Niagara Falls All Over Again. A former public librarian, she currently holds the James Michener Chair in Fiction at the University of Texas, Austin. She has received grants and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the American Academy in Berlin.