Description: An elegant and richly evocative collection about the nature of paradise and the complexities of desire.
These eight magical stories are about the Edenic spaces that people create in their lives and the serpents that subtly inhabit them; in each case a form of revelation accompanies the threat of expulsion from the earthly paradise. In "Rug Weaver" (selected for Best American Short Stories 2001), an Iranian rug dealer makes a paradise of his prison cell by weaving an elaborate rug in his mind. Grieving parents in the title story transfigure an exotic luxury subdivision in southern California into a vision of heaven. In "Interpreters" a couple working in a re-created colonial village find that the roles they play are more seductively real than their lives outside.
For all these men and women, the apple is only the beginning. And in every story there is a tension between inner and outer worlds as the characters leave a place that grows greener, lusher, and more perfect as they look back.
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