Louis Auchincloss

Skinny Island

Twelve stories contemplating destiny and detailing the life of Manhattan’s upper class over the course of one hundred years, from the author of Honorable Men.
It’s only twelve miles long and two miles wide, but it has more money for its area, more history packed into its relatively brief settlement, and more emotional and intellectual energy coursing through its streets than any other place on earth. Manhattan is the setting for all of Louis Auchincloss’s fiction, and it is the stage on which those New Yorkers whose roots go down to its bedrock play out the drama of their lives.
From the turn of the century to our present urban follies, these stories follow the fortunes of the socially secure and powerful as they try to cope with the changes shaped by the momentous events and growing anxieties of recent decades. Taken together, the tales weave a larger pattern of human strengths and foibles that bemuses the mind and touches the heart.
The elegant prose, crystalline dialogue, immense insight into the mores, preoccupations, and afflictions of the rich, and the connoisseur’s sense of both art and life that are characteristic of Auchincloss—all are here, but with a depth of passion and irony exceeding anything he has accomplished in the past.
Praise for Skinny Island
“Many of Auchincloss’ wealthy and Waspy protagonists, caught in such fine conflict, find it difficult to defend their dwindling kind or, conversely, to rebel against their confining values . . .. With this, his 40th book, Auchincloss has yet to exhaust his art, or his loyal readers.” —Kirkuks Reviews
230 printed pages
Original publication



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