Set amidst the tatters of post-Katrina Gulf Coast Mississippi, Waveland is a brilliantly observed portrait of our times from one of the most incisive novelists at work today.
Partially retired architect Vaughn Williams does what he can to remain "viable." Battling the doldrums of midlife, he teaches an occasional class, reads the newspapers, scours the Internet, and thinks obsessively about his late father. When his ex-wife seeks refuge from her hotheaded boyfriend, Vaughn and his girlfriend, Greta, agree to let her move in, perhaps a little too cavalierly. Add in Vaughan’s annoyingly successful younger brother, who carries a torch for Vaughn’s ex-wife, and lingering suspicions about Greta’s involvement in her husband’s murder and the result is an emotionally resonant tale of mortality, love, regret, and redemption that only Barthelme could unwind.