1. The World Without You

    October 8, 2018

    It’s July 4th in the Berkshires and the far-flung Frankel clan has reunited for a weekend rich with unexpected revelations, long-simmering rivalries, and not-so-subtle complexities. Parents Marilyn and David are contemplating divorce after four decades, much to their adult children’s collective dismay. Their tenuous marriage has disintegrated in the year since their only son was killed in Iraq. Leo, a celebrated and charismatic journalist, commanded the spotlight in both life and death. Now, on the first anniversary of his very public funeral, the family has convened to claim the intimate memorial they were denied the first time around. While the rest of the nation glorifies the rocket’s red glare—which ultimately killed their beloved brother—siblings Noelle, Clarissa, and Lily negotiate a tangled web of family and political dynamics that is at once both heartwarming and heartbreaking. It doesn’t help that Leo’s widow, Thisbe, mother to his only son, carries life-changing secrets of her own.

    Henkin is the author of “Swimming Across the Hudson” (a Los Angeles Times Notable Book) and “Matrimony” (a New York TimesNotable Book). His stories have been published widely, cited for distinction in Best American Short Stories, and broadcast on NPR’s “Selected Shorts.” He directs the MFA Program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College and is the recipient of the James Fellowship for the Novel, the Hopwood Award, the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, and a grant from the Michigan Council of the Arts.