Her new book is the story collection, The Mother Who Stayed.
Last month I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
It’s end-of-the-world weather, even in sunny Austin, Texas, and I’ve just read a novel that’s appropriate to the sky, Next by James Hynes.Read more about The Mother Who Stayed.
The novel’s hero is Kevin Quinn of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a funny guy, attractive despite his bad case of arrested development and priapism, both of which lead to melancholy visits to his past and strange episodes in his Odyssey around Austin one fine, sunny June day.
Reading a novel set in a familiar place offers the fun of identifying the real places behind the fictional names—Crazy Maria’s disguised as Anna’s Taco Rapido—but by the end of the book the joke was on me. Next is much more than the musings and regrets of a middle-aged man.
I can’t think of Austin now without being haunted by the powerful ending of Next.
The novel is gripping, funny, and entertaining. The writing is terrific. Toward the end, our hero Kevin Quinn is reminded to pay attention. The readers of Next by James Hynes should heed this advice.Copyright (c) 2011 by Laura Furman