No longer famous, journalist Cannie Shapiro writes science fiction under a pen name while raising her teenage daughter, and considers her husband Peter's request to have Cannie's flamboyant sister provide surrogate services so that they can have a second child.
Struggling with an unsatisfying job, her husband's flirtations with a younger co-worker, and her teenage son's estrangement, Julia remembers her first love and impulsively participates in a tryst during a friend's wedding, and when she discovers that she is pregnant, she is uncertain of the baby's paternity. A first novel. 30,000 first printing.
Caring for her ill husband and son in 1953 San Francisco, dutiful housewife Pearlie questions everything she has ever believed about her husband after the appearance of a stranger who mysteriously offers her a considerable sum of money.
Previously published in a New Yorker special issue, a collection of tales about modern African children in crisis includes "An Ex-Mas Feast," in which an eight-year-old child shares in his family's sacrifices to obtain enough food and enable his education.
Two parallel stories, set in Venice a century apart, follow two women and their marriages—Marian Evans, better known as famed English author George Eliot, who is newly married to a man twenty years her junior and in the city on her honeymoon; and sculptor Caroline Spingold, coming unwillingly to the city with her older, wealthy husband to celebrate their tenth anniversary.
In 1915 Minnesota, Monte Becket, a novelist, joins Glendon Hale, an outlaw intent on reconciling with his family, whom he had abandoned more than two decades earlier, but on their journey Becket leaves his own family behind and Glendon Hale is pursued by Charles Siringo, a relentless former Pinkerton agent.
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing 13 cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recount the events leading up to her death.
Relocating to Charleston after a particularly grueling case, Dr. Kay Scarpetta opens a private forensic pathology practice but is quickly targeted by local politics and a covert saboteur before a series of violent deaths bring her skills into high view. Simultaneous.