“Spare, poised stories in a fashionably narrow range of the minor keys, with carefully plucked chords of foreboding and loss strumming just under the surface.” —Kirkus Reviews
Peter Cameron’s first collection of short stories, published while he was in his mid-twenties, marks the auspicious debut of a rare talent. Here characters act on lies they spin to protect themselves, or to protect others. In “What Do People Do All Day?”, a child gamely stalls a father’s confession of adultery. The heroine of “Fast Forward” tells her dying mother that she’s engaged—a lie designed to give the old woman a final few days of happiness. And in “Memorial Day,” a teenage boy struggles to adjust to his mother’s new husband, a stepfather only thirteen years his senior.