Since Cheryl Pearl Sucher married a New Zealander in 1999, she has been living between two worlds: the Greater New York City area and the Hawkes Bay of New Zealand, two places that are about as far apart on the planet as one can travel. Though she has often felt torn between her very different lives, she has also felt that her life experience and artistic vision has been enhanced by living as both an insider and an outsider in such different but extraordinary places. This interview series is born out of her experience between these worlds, and as a published fiction writer, bookseller, journalist, memoirist and avocational musical traveler.
In this edition, Cheryl talks to Valerie Sayers, author of The Age of Infidelity.
In the spirit of Muriel Spark and Walker Percy, The Age of Infidelity’s eleven stories embrace the comic, the absurd, and the dead serious. Faithless parents betray their children, the young betray the old, and lovers betray each other—but somehow these characters cling to hope.
Aging white cheerleaders shout through an online megaphone, remembering a time when racial equality seemed almost possible; a teenager endures her father’s abandonment as her mother’s psychotic episodes pick up pace; an old couple on the lam from the Constitutional Guard of the future hides out in a garage reminiscent of our consumerist past. In an age many call post-religious, these characters want to believe in something, but they’re not always sure what that something is.
Set in landscapes from the small-town South to New York City, from a parched Midwest to a deserted Dublin, these stories time-travel from our Jim Crow past to an imagined future of warehouses for the aged where robots do the nursing. With what the Washington Post describes as her “distinctive brutal elegance,” Valerie Sayers writes playfully, powerfully, and musically. These stories form an album riffing on our age, the Age of Infidelity.
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