âIf there remains any doubt about Allan Gurganusâs literary greatness, Local Souls should put this to rest forever.ââJamie Quatro, New York Times Book ReviewDecoy, the concluding novella of Allan Gurganusâs hugely acclaimed Local Souls, was hailed as the standout of that work. Critics called it âhumane, profound, hilarious, nostalgic, the literary equivalent of a bare-knuckled knockout punchâ (Miami Herald). Like Kazuo Ishiguroâs The Remains of the Day it is a haunting lyrical portrayal of a life half-led. Set in mythical Falls, North Carolina, this mysterious and compelling tale maps the lifelong eroticized friendship between two married men. When Doc Roper, the townâs beloved physician, announces he is retiring from practice to carve exquisite duck decoys, he triggers an epidemic of catastrophes. His dependent patient and next-door neighbor, Bill Mabry, feels cut loose. Then the close-knit town is devastated by a flood of near-biblical proportions. Working inexorably âto an unexpected moment of catharsisâ (Dwight Garner, New York Times) Decoyâalready emerging as an essential work of American literatureâcharts the tender border between life and death.
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