The Country of Marriage

After starring with Dorothy McGuire in the hit 1959 romance A Summer Place, Richard Egan stood poised to become America’s next matinee idol. But by 1962, the actor’s career had nosedived, limiting him to such secondary roles as ”a throaty, nervous CIA operative” and ”the captain of a tuna boat.” Playwright Giardina’s fictional retelling of Egan’s fall in The Country of Marriage is but one of nine startlingly original tales of human frailty in this exceptional debut collection. Recognizable domestic situations — boredom-filled marriages, illicit affairs, sibling rivalry — feel fresh thanks to Giardina’s eye for the dark, disturbing, and rarely spoken-of thoughts and feelings that turn disappointment into despair. A-

The Country of Marriage
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