Ether

Evgenia Citkowitz, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $25 (242p) ISBN 978-0-374-29887-6

Screenwriter Citkowitz maps the territory where false starts and disappointment sometimes lead to unexpected opportunities in her debut collection of capricious stories and a disturbing novella. The title novella follows William, a frustrated writer who abandons New York for L.A. and falls in love with gorgeous actress Madeline. Their quick marriage inspires him to begin work on an autobiographical novel, but when Madeline develops a mysterious illness and befriends a strange young man (William calls him “the Psycho”), his attraction to her sours and his writing takes a dark turn. In “The Bachelor's Table,” Jonathan Edel, a new father, buys an unwieldy antique table on a nostalgic whim, and its presence through an uncomfortable Christmas with his alcoholic mother-in-law forces him to confront old regrets and feelings of inadequacy. An aging actress adopts a troubled boy in “Sunday's Child,” and the challenges they both encounter—at school, at home—come to an unexpected head when a young homeless woman is found sleeping in the boy's backyard playhouse. For all the uncomfortable situations and prickly emotion, the pieces are remarkably easy to digest. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/15/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4299-6149-3
Paperback - 242 pages - 978-0-312-56935-8
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