This extraordinary love story, based on historical characters and written with Boyle's customary brilliance and wit, follows the lives of two scarred creatures living in a magical age. It is the turn of the century. Stanley McCormick, the twenty-nine-year-old heir to the great Reaper fortune, meets and marries Katherine Dexter, a woman of 'power, beauty, wealth and prestige'. Two years later, Stanley falls victim to a tormenting sexual mania and schizophrenia, and is imprisoned in the massive forbidding mansion known as Riven Rock. He spends the next two decades under the control of a succession of psychiatrists, all of whom forbid any contact with women. Yet Katherine Dexter, now famous as a champion for women's suffrage and Planned Parenthood, remains strong in her belief that someday her husband will return to her whole.
T. Coraghessan Boyle was born in the suburbs of Manhattan. He has written six previous novels: Water Music, Budding Prospects, East is East, World's End for which he won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 1988, Road to Welville, and The Tortilla Curtain. He is also the author of four collections of short stories, the latest of which is called Without A Hero. He now lives near Santa Barbara in California.