The fourth novel in 4th Estate's Wilcox revival, a revival which has been received with universal enthusiasm: `With a keen eye for the weirdness of ordinary lives and an easy style somewhere between Armistead Maupin and Ann Tyler, Wilcox looks set for similar success.' GQGretchen Peabody, fortyish and only just a bit dowdy, has decided to abandon the comforts of Manhattan for a new home in Tula Springs, Louisiana, having been swept off her feet by Frank Dambar, a fetching widower she has happened upon in a New Orleans souvenir shop. What she finds there, however, is a state of affairs to which only James Wilcox could do justice. While Gretchen is baffled by the small town's provincialism, it pales next to the weird household her new husband has assembled, which includes a handyman/mystic and his arthritic niece, and a stolid Teutonic housekeeper determined to keep the first Mrs Dambar's memory alive. Just as Gretchen begins to wonder whether so unusual a marriage has been a mistake, fate again intrudes... Wilcox's brilliantly comic vision is matched by a profoundly affecting regard for his characters - qualities that mark his maturity as a novelist and confirm his standing among the classic American humorists.
James Wilcox's stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Avenue and Louisiana Literature. He is the author of five other novels, Modern Baptists, North Gladiola, Polite Sex, Miss Undine's Living Room and Guest of a Sinner. He is a graduate of Yale University and a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship.