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Now, in this collection of interconnected short stories, Jennifer Haigh returns to the vividly imagined world of Bakerton, Pennsylvania, a coal mining town rocked by decades of painful transition. From its heyday during two World Wars through its slow decline, Bakerton is a town that refuses to give up gracefully, binding—sometimes cruelly—succeeding generations to the place that made them. A young woman glimpses a world both strange and familiar when she becomes a live-in maid for a Jewish family in New York City. A long-absent brother makes a sudden and tragic homecoming. A solitary middle-aged woman tastes unexpected love when a young man returns to town. With a revolving cast of characters—many familiar to fans of Baker Towers—these stories explore how our roots, the families and places in which we are raised, shape the people we eventually become.
News from Heaven looks unflinchingly at the conflicting human desires for escape and for connection, and explores the enduring hold of home.
About the Author
Jennifer Haigh is the author of four critically acclaimed novels, Faith; The Condition; Baker Towers, winner of the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award for Fiction, and Mrs. Kimble, for which she won the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her short fiction has been published widely, including in The Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories 2012, and other publications. She lives in the Boston area.
Praise for News from Heaven: The Bakerton Stories…
“This collection of short stories shows depth, understanding and compassion. . . . Haigh’s narratives are beautifully realized stories of heartbreak, of qualified love, and of economic as well as personal depression.”