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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Livability. Two old friends, estranged by time and lack of interest, attempt to reconnect on a trip to the mountains. Livability. A grieving man impulsively begins a long-imagined affair after the unexpected death of his wife. Livability. A woman, well acquainted with bad luck and alone except for the companionship of her dog, drives to Alaska to look for work. Livability. A man, recently divorced and long retired, prepares a sumptuous dinner party for guests, including the two Mexican immigrants he hired that same morning. Livability is the sum of these stories and more -- a rich collection at once deft, sobering, and artfully observed.
Whether divorced, widowed, on the run, or on their own, Raymond's characters all experience the longing, hard-won insight, and frustration that result from a welter of missed opportunities and bad timing. Kids, immigrants, artists, and drifters, they move along in their lives, taking what they need and deciding what they can live without. Old, young, or caught in the middle, they're trying to get things right before it's too late. Moment by moment, their chance encounters, disappointing relationships, and forgotten dreams develop into a portrait of America now.
Haunting, elegiac, and instantly recognizable, Livability, with its graceful detail and generous spirit, is destined to become a classic. (Spring 2009 Selection)