"Allan Gurganus's voice - by turn bawdy and serene, folkloric and profane - deepens as it soars into this quiet masterwork. Four new fables - rich in event, comedy, experience - surge with the force of history's headlines versus sidestreet human fortitude. Improbable heroes and heroines spiral outward from Gurganus's familiar Carolina terrain. Each fires into a wild and differing direction, all in quest of some fantasy that's practically impossible: an impoverished immigrant has her portrait painted (or not) by John Singer Sargent; a young man's devotion to saving eighteenth-century homes - and their odd lingering ghosts - helps him find unlikely ways to renovate his own mortality; a pillar of the community becomes, over the course of one cartoon matinee, its pariah and; a beloved, transfixingly homely father shows his village and his only son a decency stronger than race, humiliation, or even death itself."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved