For twenty years now, Frederick Busch has been a relentless chronicler of the human heart. Except for an occasional foray abroad, he has tended to set his fiction in a physical territory––the Northeast, upstate New York especially––which he has given literary shape. With the capaciousness of a Dickens and the control of a Hemingway, Busch's novels have come in steady counterpoint, raising and answering by turns insistent questions that worry even the plainest of domestic lives. In this his fifth book of stories, the Absent Friends of the title are the lost characters the author has so compassionately detailed, who long to recover their absent selves. But they are also, as Richard Bausch comments in The Philadelphia Inquirer, "friends we have failed, or who have failed us; it is the emotional cost of that estrangement that interests Frederick Busch."
Paperback $ 11.95