Information about the author.
From the author of the acclaimed novel The Snowman’s Children and the award-winning collection The Two Sams comes American Morons, a new collection of dazzling and haunting tales…
Two traveling college students confront their disintegrating relationship and the new American reality in a breakdown lane along the Italian Superstrade. A woman chases the ghost of her neglectful father to a vanished amusement park at the end of the Long Beach pier. Two recently retired teachers learn just how much Los Angeles has taken from them.
In these atmospheric, wide-ranging, surprisingly playful, and deeply mournful stories, grandkids and widows, ice cream-truck drivers and judges, travelers and invalids all discover and sometimes even survive the everyday losses from which the most vengeful ghosts so often spring.
In the title story of this unique collection a husband struggles with the grief and confusion of losing two children, and forms an odd bond with the infant spectrals that visit him in the night. “Dancing Men” depicts one of the creepiest rites of passage in recent memory, when a boy visits his deranged grandfather in the New Mexico desert. In “Mr. Dark’s Carnival,” a college professor confronts his own dark places in the form of a mysterious haunted house steeped in the folklore of grisly badlands justice. “Struwwelpeter” introduces us to a brilliant, treacherous adolescent whose violent tendencies and reckless mischief reach a sinister pinnacle as Halloween descends on a rundown, Pacific Northwest fishing village. Tormented by his guilty conscience, a young man plumbs the depths of atonement as he and his favorite cousin commune with the almighty Hawaiian surf in “Shipwreck Beach.” With The Two Sams author Glen Hirshberg uses his remarkable gift for capturing mood and atmosphere to suggest the possibility that the most troubling ghosts of all are not the ones that hover above us and walk through walls, but those that linger in our memories and haunt our souls.
- A young girl, lying in the way-back of a station wagon during an all-night family road trip, becomes convinced that the people up front are no longer her parents.
- A dutiful Jewish nephew slowly comes to understand—and fear—his aging aunts’ obsession with the exotic animals wandering loose on a nearby farm in suburban Baltimore.
- A Japanese immigrant, isolated in a California mountain town while caring for her dying husband, begins seeing Tall Things in the corners of her house. Whisperers. They tell her they are coming to live in her mouth.
- And in the Shirley Jackson Award-winning title novelette, a decaying mining town in Montana provides the backdrop for a desperate battle between a troubled, pugnacious pre-teen, the bully who has terrorized him, and the much more sinister force neither…[more]
The Snowman’s Children is a poignant, psychologically intense first novel that tells the story of an incident from one man’s childhood in the 1970s, when a serial killer called The Snowman stalked the streets of suburban Detroit. The incident, a result of good but woefully misguided juvenile intentions, forced his family to leave their home, and eventually forced him, at age twenty-nine, to return to his hometown in search of three old friends.
Reminiscent of both To Kill a Mockingbird in its touching portrait of childhood, and the beautifully written brand of suspense that calls to mind Smilla’s Sense of Snow, The Snowman’s Children is an unusually controlled and original novel that establishes Hirshberg as an important new voice in American literature.