The Garden of Lost and Found tells the story of James Ramsay, a 21-year-old man who discovers upon the death of his estranged mother that he’s inherited a building in New York City. James takes up residence at No. 1 Dutch Street, a five-story brownstone near the World Trade Center, whose only other tenant is an elderly black woman named Nellydean. James is immediately faced with a choice: sell the building for a small fortune—and turn Nellydean out of the only home she’s known for more than forty years—or attempt to stave off the mounting tide of taxes that will cause him to forfeit his only connection to a mother he never knew. Then Nellydean’s niece shows up, looking for a home for herself and her unborn child, and an older man becomes smitten with James, even as James’s health fails.
The Garden of Lost and Found maps a tangled network of sexual, familial, and financial complications, over which hangs the specter of 9/11. A hallucinatory, lyrical, and often darkly hilarious portrait of 21st-century America.
This is the fourth volume of Gospel Harmonies, a series of seven stand-alone books (four have been written) that follow the character of John in various guises as he attempts to navigate the uneasy relationship between the self and the postmodern world.
“A strange and wonderful novel [by] a strange and wonderful novelist.” —Joseph O’Neill, author of Netherland
“[Peck] tells the quintessential New York story with his delicious style and piercing ability to move.” —Martha McPhee, author of Gorgeous Lies
“[Peck is a] brilliant writer, and this perplexing, beguiling, pre-and-post 9/11 Manhattan-set fable could have come from no one else.” —Booklist
“Peck delivers a novel that explores family, sexuality, AIDS, and the resiliency of the city, and he does it without kowtowing to the populist sentiment that a character ought to be likable: this one certainly isn’t . . . In typical fashion, Peck spares no punches.” —Lambda Literary Foundation