MEN AND DOGS
BY KATIE CROUCH
In April of 1985, Buzz Legare went fishing. The next day all that was found was his boat and his waiting, faithful dog.
Twenty years later, his daughter Hannah still finds hope in believing, alone among her family, that he's still alive somewhere. She has a smart husband, a thriving business, a beautiful home in San Francisco-and a huge hole in her troubled heart. True to her trademark talent for self-sabotage, she finds herself one starry night climbing up the fire escape in a desperate (and drunken) attempt to win back her own husband--and failing disastrously.
Slightly worse for the wear, Hannah returns to Charleston to salve her wounds. There, old loves, unrepented crimes, and family legends are stirred up from the dust. Hannah's brother Palmer, the stoic with a secret of his own, cannot dissuade her from a manic search to uncover clues to the past, and they will both face shocking discoveries that lead them to reconcile their very different notions of loyalty and blind faith.
As she did so memorably in her bestselling debut, Girls in Trucks, Katie Crouch has created another great voice--spiky, tender, and hilarious--in the screwball heroine Hannah Legare. Much like Julia Roberts in My Best Friend's Wedding, Hannah follows the misguided impulses of a heart that's in the right place.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, but now I live in San Francisco as a Southerner-in-exile. I've always wanted to be a writer, but was too scared to fully commit to it until my late twenties, when I stopped working in advertising and went to Columbia University to get my MFA. It took me five years to write Girls in Trucks. I wrote each chapter ten to twenty times. There are about eight chapters that ended up on the cutting room floor.
I mine my own life for material. My fiction is not totally autobiographical, because that would make for a pretty messy story, but emotionally I've lived almost everywhere my characters have been.
I learned an enormous amount about writing in college and graduate school, but mostly I learned how to express myself by reading the work of other great writers. I love the British Literature of the early twentieth century, particularly Brideshead Revisted by Evelyn Waugh, and E.M. Forster's Howard's End. I guess I'm a sucker for English manor life, or my fantasy of it, anyway.
Marguerite Duras's The Lover is my favorite love story. I admire many contemporary Southern writers, my favorite being Josephine Humphreys, the author of Rich in Love and Nowhere Else on Earth. I was fortunate enough to get to know her when I was in high school, because her son was my high school sweetheart. I've always admired her intelligence and grace, both on the page and off.
The last book that absolutely blew me away was James Coetze's Disgrace. I've read Susan Minot's novel Evening three times and each time have found some new beautiful nugget I missed before. Same goes for The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer. I was just given Uwem Akpan's debut book of stories about Africa, Say You're One Of Them. It's really not to be missed.
Finally, I read Joan Didion's essay, Goodbye to All That about once a month. It's my favorite piece of writing. She breaks my heart every time.
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