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The inhabitants of Prose's Peaceable Kingdom are getting the surprises of their lives: a young woman on her honeymoon suddenly realizes that her ecologist husband will have to save the world without her; a child on a class trip recognizes in an Egyptian tomb the inevitable and tragic procession of her life to come; a young puppeteer works a party in the house of a wealthy family, only to be drawn into an encounter with the head of the dysfunctional household; and a disaffected girl on a trip to Paris with her father and his mistress is chased by the boy of her dreams. Nothing is certain in this world where weddings and birthday parties go unpredictably awry, strangers blurt out disturbing confessions, and even the family pets reveal themselves to be agents of discord and disruption.
In this short-story collection by one of the most gifted fiction writers of our time, Francine Prose shows us how the seemingly tranquil surface of ordinary happiness barely conceals the darker, more mysterious and brutal truths about this deceptively peaceable kingdom.
Francine Prose is the critically acclaimed author of nineteen novels, including the National Book Award Finalist Blue Angel and My New American Life. She has written three other novels for young adults: After, winner of the California Young Reader Medal, an IRA/CBC Young Adults' Choice, and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age; Bullyville, a PW Best Book and Book Sense Children's Pick; and her most recent, Touch. She is also the author of two picture books, Leopold, the Liar of Leipzig and Rhino, Rhino, Sweet Potato. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, Francine Prose was Director's Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She lives in New York City.