The Lifeguard by Mary Morris

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It was with her stories that Mary Morris first won attention and acclaim: her first collection, Vanishing Animals, received the prestigious Rome Prize, and her second, The Bus of Dreams, was widely hailed. In this new collection, Mary Morris once again shows her great sensitivity to men and women at moments of turbulence, uncertainty and crisis in their lives-and how they can reach for the unexpected and the spiritual at such times.

In the title story, a lifeguard sees his teenage mystique among the girls on the beach dissolve in a panicked moment when he cannot save a child. In "The Wall," a woman confronts her husband's first marriage, in the form of a mural on a kitchen wall that he is strangely unable to contemplate painting over. In "The Glass-Bottom Boat," a mother on her first trip abroad learns about trust through a solicitous stranger. In "The Snowmaker's Wife," a housewife left alone while her husband works long hours at a mountaintop ski resort starts to suspect his betrayal-as well as her own perceptions. In addition to these stories, which have appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, Vogue, and other magazines, are two brand-new stories: "Vital Signs" tells of the consequences of a doctor bringing back to life a young woman, half-dead on the side of the road; and "Cross Word" is a wonderfully funny play on those puzzles and the people who do them.

Combining Mary Morris's consummate craft as a storyteller with her gift for dramatic travel writing, The Lifeguard is a powerful and haunting collection.

About Mary Morris

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Mary Morris is the author of Nothing to Declare:  Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone, which was cited by the New York Times as one of the most notable books of 1988; two collections of short stories:  Vanishing Animals, which was awarded the Rome prize by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letter, and The Bus of Dreams, which won the Friends of American Writers Award.  Crossroads, published in 1983, was her first novel.  She resides with her young daughter in New York City.
Published March 21, 2012 by Nan A. Talese. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Melanie in ``Losing Track,'' Lenore in ``The Glass-Bottom Boat,'' and the unnamed cowboy's wife in ``Around the World'' all experience epiphanies when they go to the limit of what their husbands can do for them, then step beyond on their own: Melanie during an all-night vigil in Navaho land, Leno...

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Publishers Weekly

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This is less true in ""Losing Track,"" in which a visit to the site of dinosaur tracks by the parents of a runaway girl is freighted with more symbolic weight than it can bear.

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