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“Peter Harris, a mid-40s New York art dealer, realizes his life is reflected perfectly in one artist's offhand comment: 'The art we produce is never as scintillating as the art we imagine in our minds.' But Peter's world receives a stimulating jolt when his wife's handsome younger brother comes to visit, and Peter responds in ways he never imagined he would.”
— Chris Brussat, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO
Peter and Rebecca Harris: mid-forties denizens of Manhattan’s SoHo, nearing the apogee of committed careers in the arts—he a dealer, she an editor. With a spacious loft, a college-age daughter in Boston, and lively friends, they are admirable, enviable contemporary urbanites with every reason, it seems, to be happy. Then Rebecca’s much younger look-alike brother, Ethan (known in the family as Mizzy, “the mistake”), shows up for a visit. A beautiful, beguiling twenty-three-year-old with a history of drug problems, Mizzy is wayward, at loose ends, looking for direction. And in his presence, Peter finds himself questioning his artists, their work, his career—the entire world he has so carefully constructed.
Like his legendary, Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Hours, Michael Cunningham’s masterly new novel is a heartbreaking look at the way we live now. Full of shocks and aftershocks, it makes us think and feel deeply about the uses and meaning of beauty and the place of love in our lives.
Michael Cunningham's novel The Hours won both the Pulitzer Prize and a PEN/Faulkner award, and became an Academy Award-winning film starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Meryl Streep. An earlier novel, A Home at the End of the World, was recently made into a film starring Colin Farrell, Dallas Roberts, Sissy Spacek, and Robin Wright Penn. He lives in New York. Hugh Dancy’s film credits include Confessions of A Shopaholic, Adam, The Jane Austen Book Club, Evening, Tempo, and Black Hawk Down, among others. He was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in Elizabeth I, and has also acted in a television miniseries of David Copperfield. His theater appearances include Madame Bovary and Daniel Deronda. He is the narrator of the audio book of Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall.
“Emmy Award nominee Hugh Dancy well captures Peter’s melancholy…Cunningham’s popularity generally and his exploration of universal middle-class dreams and fears make this a good choice for book clubs” – Library Journal
“What is signaled in print through the use of design elements, narrator Hugh Dancy does through voice: A change in inflection, a slight questioning, a hesitation, or an increase in speed alerts the listener to a switch from stream of consciousness to public dialogue, from narrative description to personal conversation. Dancy’s reading brings authenticity to Peter’s emotional journey, saving it from self-indulgence.” – Audiofile