“Without a doubt the most ambitious story writer in America,” according to The Daily Beast, Jim Shepard now delivers a new collection that spans borders and centuries with unrivaled mastery. These ten stories ring with voices belonging to–among others–English Arctic explorers in one of history’s most nightmarish expeditions, a young contemporary American negotiating the shockingly underreported hazards of our crude-oil trains, eighteenth-century French balloonists inventing manned flight, and two mid-nineteenth-century housewives trying to forge a connection despite their isolation on the frontier of settlement. In each case the personal is the political as these characters face everything from the emotional pitfalls of everyday life to historic catastrophes on a global scale. In his fifth collection, Shepard makes each of these wildly various worlds his own, and never before has he delineated anything like them so powerfully.
Jim Shepard is the author of seven novels and four previous story collections. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with his wife, three children, and three beagles. He teaches at Williams College.