Sam Lafferty has hit bottom. Under investigation and on leave from the financial services firm that employed him, Sam has uprooted his wife and two daughters and dragged them against their will to central China. While on this rotten family vacation, in an alien and uncomfortable landscape, after years of deception, lousy investment, moral—and soon-coming financial—bankruptcy, and with his family in tow—Sam pursues the man who had first set him on a path to corruption from crumbling binguan hotels without soap or towels to Buddhist caves near Xi’an.
In this dazzling piece, selected from the stunning collection of short fiction Emerald City, by the critically acclaimed author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award, Jennifer Egan lays bare our capacity for failure.
Jennifer Egan is the author of The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction appears… More about Jennifer Egan
“Boldly modulated tales of displacement and blazing moments of truth. . . . Riveting, vaguely Hitchcockian. . . . Piercingly tender. . . . Outstanding.” —The New York Times Book Review “Immensely appealing. . . . Told with dazzling insight and emotional daring.” —Elle “[Egan] deftly depicts the ways in which women can create glamorously detailed personas for another based on passing observations.” —Time