James is a cantankerous and conservative seventy-two-year-old who has spent his life caring for the animals on his farm. His widowed older sister, Sally, has strong liberal ideals and a propensity for debate. When Sally’s bankruptcy forces her to move in with her brother, their lifelong feud quickly escalates—and Sally becomes a prisoner in her own room with nothing to survive on but apples and a trashy novel about marijuana smugglers.
As Sally becomes immersed in the book, the story envelops the narrative of the siblings’ dysfunctional relationship, and Gardner explores a wide array of themes from human autonomy to self-definition to political extremism. The result is a tour de force of Gardner’s unique literary style at the height of his protean creative powers.
This ebook features a new illustrated biography of John Gardner, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Gardner family and the University of Rochester Archives.