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From Barnes & NobleDiscover Great New Writers
Trouble has been simmering in the year since David Darby’s wife died unexpectedly. Now, as Y2K approaches, it has come to a boil….
Acclaimed for The Wasp Eater, his first collection of stories, Lychack focuses now on a fascinating range of human behavior. With a fluency of tone and a gifted eye, he examines the dark and unfathomable moments in the most committed relationships; the small distances that stretch into miles between generations and couples when long-buried secrets tumble out into the light; or the eccentricities that may label us as odd yet mark us as unique. Capturing the bewilderment and tenderness in failed connections or missed moments, his characters stand vivid in their human frailty and we warm to them almost despite ourselves. A lonely wife determined to gather her far-flung family for a reunion invents the perfect lie to persuade them; an old woman recalls how she once trained a black crow the art of thieving; and the off-duty small-town cop on his last round of the evening who does a distressed family a great service when he summons the courage to shoot their gravely injured dog. These poignant tales reveal the subtleties in love and indifference or the strange, sad, breathtaking tricks of chance that can change a life in a second. As Lychack moves among these characters with all their virtues and failings, he observes the inevitable disparity between their realities and their dreams even while investing their stories with wit, humility, and a large measure of grace. That he succeeds so remarkably in transferring it all to the page is evidence of his prodigious talent.