Matters of Life & Death: And Other Stories

A new book from Bernard MacLaverty is a cause for celebration, but "Matters of Life and Death" is more than that. It is the finest collection yet from a contemporary master of the form. Beginning with the sudden terror of a family caught up in shocking sectarian violence, and ending with the whiteout of an Iowa blizzard and the fear of losing your way very far from home, this collection is about bonds made and broken, secret and known. In the extraordinary story "Up the Coast," a landscape painter discovers a place that makes her, finally, feel whole, only to have that communion shattered by an arbitrary act of aggression that will resonate throughout her life. Written with effortless skill and empathy, these stories are hauntingly real. MacLaverty's perfect attention to every detail, every nuance of idiom and character, remakes the world for us here on the page.

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