These eleven stories, along with a masterful novella, mark the triumphant return of David Gates, whom “New York” magazine anointed a true heir to both Raymond Carver and John Cheever.
“A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me” is populated by characters, young or old or neither, who are well educated, broadly knowledgeable, often creative and variously accomplished, whether as a doctor or a composer, an academic or a journalist. And every one of them carries a full supply of the human condition: parents in assisted-living or assisted-dying facilities, too many or too few people in their families and marriages, the ties that bind a sometimes messy knot, age an implacable foe, impulses pulling them away from comfort into distraction or catastrophe. Terrifyingly self-aware, they refuse to go gently even when they re going nowhere fast, in settings that range across the metropolitan and suburban Northeast to the countryside of upstate New York and New England.
Relentlessly inventive, alternately hilarious and tragic, always moving, this book proves yet again that Gates is one of our most talented, witty and emotionally intelligent writers.”