The Sky Below
By Stacey D'Erasmo
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780618439256, 288pp.)
Publication Date: January 2009
List Price: $24.00*
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From a rising literary star in the tradition of Carol Shields and A. S. Byatt” comes this luminous story of a contemporary man’s metamorphosis.
Andrea Barrett and Michael Cunningham have lauded Stacey D’Erasmo for the beauty of her language and her ability to create worlds that leave a lasting impression. In her new novel, D’Erasmo reaches back to Ovid for inspiration in this tale of how the mythic animates our everyday lives. At thirty-seven, Gabriel Collins works halfheartedly as an obituary writer at a fading newspaper in lower Manhattan, which, since 9/11, feels like a city of the dead. This once dreamy and appealing boy has turned from a rebellious adolescent to an adult who trades in petty crimes.His wealthy, older boyfriend is indulgent of himto a point. But after a brush with his own mortality, Gabriel must flee to Mexico in order to put himself back together. By novel’s end, we know all of Gabriel’s ratty little secrets, but by dint of D’Erasmo’s spectacular writing, we exult in the story of an imperfect man whotested by a world that is often too much for himrises to meet the challenge.
STACEY D’ERASMO is the author of the novels Tea, a New York Times Notable Book, and A Seahorse Year, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year and a Lambda Literary Award winner. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and Ploughshares. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction, she is currently an assistant professor of writing at Columbia University. She lives in New York.