Believers: A Novella and Stories
Publisher: Vintage Books
Many critics have sought to describe Charles Baxter's unparalleled gift for revealing the unexpected in the ordinary, for capturing the fleeting moments that indelibly define a life, for articulating the moral and emotional quandaries that can besiege us as we balance love and responsibility. All these hallmarks of Baxter's work are on brilliant display in “Believers,” his fourth collection of short fiction. In 'Reincarnation, ' the last hours of a summer dinner party find three couples musing about their previous lives and recalling those instances of recognition that have the power to transform them in the here and now. In 'The Cures for Love' a young woman, a classicist distraught over a love affair gone bad, finds unexpected help and solace in the words of Ovid. And in the title novella, a piece that has the tonal control of a concerto, a father's fall from grace is related in his son's story about 'fascism and believers, a story of the American Midwest and how I came to be conceived and brought into the world by a priest.' In each of the stories gathered here we see the delicate intersection of faith and conviction: between what we want to believe and what we need to believe.
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