Described as “one of the best writers alive” (Susan Cheever), his fiction often compared to that of Henry James and Edith Wharton, Louis Auchincloss brings his keen insight and warm understanding once again to the moral dilemmas of America's high society in these nine never-before-published tales. Crisscrossing a tumultuous century, these stories evoke lives both blessed and cursed by good fortune and reveal the quotidian conflicts of a wonderfully rich milieu. Here are vignettes that capture the loves and jealousies of marriage and friendship, that recall days of a rarefied aristocracy and hint at a new, ambitious young elite. In the title story, a tour de force of humor and emotion, a clergyman prepares a toast for his twenty-fifth wedding anniversary but gets stuck when it comes to his wife’s five-year affair. The narrator in “DeCicco v. Schweizer” imagines the lives of the plaintiff and defendant and spins a wicked tale about a 1902 marriage born more of convenience than of love. And in “The Last of the Great Courtesans,” we meet the unforgettable Milly Marion, born in 1917, who has bewitched everyone she has met in her long, colorful life. Whether these stories concern an anxious draft dodger, a repentant headmaster, or a mischievous writer who ill-advisedly draws from her own family for her fiction, they offer soulful glimpses into an uncommon world, preserved in our past and yet also surprisingly close to our hearts. The Anniversary and Other Stories confirms that we are “in the presence of a subtle master” (Kirkus Reviews).
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on
ISBN: 9780547946993
List price: $25.00
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