Amor and Psycho: stories

From the author of Daughters of the Revolution and The Bostons (winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for fiction) come eleven stories about sex and death, violence and desire, love and madness, set in a vast American landscape that ranges from the largest private residence in Manhattan to the lush rainforests and marijuana farms of northern California.

In “Francis Bacon,” an aspiring writer learns essential lessons from an ageing pornographer. In “The Snake,” a restless Jungian analyst sheds one existence after another. In “The Boundary,” a muralist falls in love with a troubled boy from the rez. In the surreal “She Bites,” a man builds an architecturally distinguished doghouse as his wife slowly transforms. And in the transcendent, three-part title story, two best friends face their strange fates, linked by determination to wrest meaning and coherence from lives spiraling out of control.

At once philosophical and compulsively readable, Amor and Psycho dives into our darkest spaces, confronting the absurdity, poetry and brutality of human existence.

Erotic, whimsical, profound . . . Cooke writes with passion, empathy, and considerable humor as her characters face life-changing issues of divorce, illness, self-destruction, and impending death.
— Kirkus Reviews
“Cooke's stories twist and turn, playing games with language . . . They leave you with something: shards of phrases; a lifetime of attitudes conveyed in a word or an aside; or odd, perfect details that stick in your mind.”
- Publishers Weekly
“An edgy collection of powerful, engaging, offbeat stories . . . The product of a mature and considerable talent.”
- Booklist
“Surprises and confounds pat expectations.... A new collection by one of our most talented writers of short stories.”
- Barnes and Noble