Elizabeth McCracken in conversation with Paul Harding
May 21, 2014
"[Elizabeth McCracken] writes sentences so beautiful you’ll want to stand up and applaud. I underlined so many phrases and details my copy is a mess, but that still didn’t keep from lending it to my best friend. . . . McCracken’s revelatory prose style makes it impossible for even the bleakest story lines to feel like anything short of a blessing."—Cosmopolitan
In her first story collection in two decades, McCracken writes elegant and complex tales. In "Property," selected by Geraldine Brooks for The Best American Short Stories, a young scholar, grieving the sudden death of his wife, decides to refurbish the Maine rental house they were to share together by removing his landlord’s possessions. In "Peter Elroy: A Documentary by Ian Casey," the household of a successful filmmaker is visited years later by his famous first subject, whose trust he betrayed. In "The Lost & Found Department of Greater Boston," the manager of a grocery store becomes fixated on the famous case of a missing local woman, and on the fate of the teenage son she left behind. And in the unforgettable title story, a family makes a quixotic decision to flee to Paris for a summer, only to find their lives altered in an unimaginable way by their teenage daughter’s risky behavior.