Short story virtuoso Elizabeth McCracken joined her friend Paul Lisicky (The Narrow Door, Unbuilt Projects) for a conversation on the heartrending and vibrant stories in McCracken’s newest collection, The Souvenir Museum. McCracken is the author of six books, including Bowlaway and The Giant’s House. Her work has earned her the 2014 Story Prize and a finalist spot for the National Book Award.
The Souvenir Museum
By Elizabeth McCracken
Published by Ecco
In these stories, the mysterious bonds of family are tested, transformed, fractured, and fortified. A recent widower and his adult son ferry to a craggy Scottish island in search of puffins. An actress who plays a children’s game-show villainess ushers in the New Year with her deadbeat half brother. A mother, pining for her children, feasts on loaves of challah to fill the void. A new couple navigates a tightrope walk toward love. And on a trip to a Texas water park with their son, two fathers each confront a personal fear.
With sentences that crackle and spark and showcase her trademark wit, McCracken traces how our closely held desires—for intimacy, atonement, comfort—bloom and wither against the indifferent passing of time. Her characters embark on journeys that leave them indelibly changed—and so do her readers. The Souvenir Museum showcases the talents of one of our finest contemporary writers as she tenderly takes the pulse of our collective and individual lives.