This is ambitious, luminous, and "breakthrough" second novel from the author of "O My Darling", chosen by 2005 National Book Award finalist Christopher Sorrentino for the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35" program to honor young writers. Acclaimed for her exquisite prose and crystalline insights, Amity Gaige returns in "The Folded World" with the story of an idealistic young social worker drawn into the lives of his mentally ill clients. Charlie Shade was born into a quiet and prosperous life, but is driven by a sense of injustice to work with people in crisis. He meets a kindred spirit in Alice, a soulful young woman, living helplessly by the laws of childhood superstition. Charlie's empathy with his clients - troubled souls like Hal, the high school wrestling champion who undergoes a psychotic break, and Opal, an isolated young woman who claims "various philosophies have confused my life" - is both admirable and nearly fatal. A collision of extraordinary characters, "The Folded World" addresses the universal dilemma of love.
With an unerring eye for both the joys and devastations of life, Amity Gaige once again reminds us of the pleasures and depths to be found in her fiction.
Amity Gaige is the author of the acclaimed novel O My Darling (Other Press, May 2005). She teaches creative writing at Mount Holyoke college and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.