In these seven beautifully wrought variations on a theme, a series of characters trace and retrace eternal yet ever-changing patterns of love and longing, connection and loss. The stories range over centuries and continents--from 18th-century Vienna, where Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte are collaborating on their operas, to America in the 1940s, where a love triangle unfolds among a doctor, a journalist, and the president’s wife. A race-car driver’s widow, a nursing-home resident and her daughter, a paralyzed dancer married to a famous choreographer--all feel the overwhelming force of passion and renunciation. With uncanny emotional exactitude, Wickersham shows how we never really know what’s in someone else’s heart, or in our own; how we continually try to explain others and to console ourselves; and how love, like storytelling, is ultimately a work of the imagination.
Joan Wickersham is the author of The news from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story (Knopf 2012). Her memoir The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order (Harcourt 2008) was a National Book Award Finalist. She is also the author of a novel, The Paper Anniversary.
Her fiction has appeared in magazines including Agni, Glimmer Train, The Hudson Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Story, and has also been published in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and other anthologies. She has published essays and reviews in Glamour, Yankee, The Los Angeles Times, and The International Herald Tribune; and her op-ed column appears regularly in The Boston Globe. She has read her work on National Public Radio's "On Point" and "Morning Edition." She also writes frequently about architecture, including "The Lurker," a column she created for Architecture Boston magazine.
She has received the Ploughshares Cohen Award for Best Short Story and has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. She graduated from Yale with a degree in art history, and she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.
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