Cape Cod Tales
Alexander Theroux
April 16, 2024 / 386 pages
ISBN 9798218383626 Paperback / $22.99
ISBN 9798218383602 Hardcover / $29.99

As the title Cape Cod Tales indicates, Alexander Theroux's new work of fiction takes place in that early American destination—the windswept, sea-facing, hook-shaped peninsula of Massachusetts, the land of the "First Comers" in 1620. Set in the 19th century, it tells the tales of three fascinating but complicated natives, each of a different age, temperament, and profession: Horatio Rock, a photographer from West Barnstable; Austin Paper, of Brewster, a teenage cook on the fishing vessel Belle of Medford in dangerous waters of the Atlantic; and an old-style carpenter, Jacob Scissors, hired to renovate a meetinghouse in the quaint village of Sandwich, the oldest town on this "narrow land."

More than a mere colorful setting or locale, Cape Cod—as much a subject of Theroux's eloquent pen as his characters—mirrors the personality of each of these Cape Codders, whose strange lives are as unpredictable as that peninsula's varying, and often savage and unsparing weather. Worth noting is that in each of these novellas, a famous (but different) American appears, playing an unexpected but crucial role in the plot. Few writers of fiction today have the breadth of narrative vision, literary punch, or out-and-out rhetorical power as Alexander Theroux.

Alexander Theroux has been nominated twice for the National Book Award and close-listed for the Pulitzer Prize. He has lived on Cape Cod for the last fifty years.


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