Country of Marriage
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With this collection of stories, Anthony Giardina takes his place among the finest writers of short fiction in America.
The Country of Marriage is a window into the lives of men as they confront the darkness at the heart of domestic existence. Giardina looks at our relationships with an eye capable of clinical precision but never devoid of compassion, and gives voice to the emotions that lie unexplored and unexpressed beneath their seemingly placid surface.
In “Days with Cecilia,” a highly articulate shop teacher reveals by attrition the sexual secret of his marriage. In “The Lake,” a young fireman confronts his complicity in the murder of his best friend’s wife. And in “The Films of Richard Egan,” the aborted career of an almost-was film star finds its echo in a suburban boy’s life.
These are emotional landscapes at once familiar and unsettling, with characters who are instantly recognizable but endlessly surprising. Brilliantly observed and masterfully told, The Country of Marriage is an unforgettable montage of lives of dwindling promise, of stubborn hope, of emotional atrophy, and of the courage to take root in the indifferent soil of modern existence.
“Anthony Giardina has an exquisite sense of the nuances of gesture and voice, the clamor of things unsaid.”—The New York Times Book Review