“Hysterically funny, beautifully written. . . . Warming and endearing, brilliant.”—Anne Tyler, New Republic
After four years of college in New England, Louise Brown is back in New Orleans, steeped in society’s “wastrel-youth contingent” yet somewhat detached, observing it all. From one lush, sweltering event to another, Violent Love, Breakdowns, Moods, laconic speech, and drunkenness reign, inscribing the South’s hallmarks of defeat and refuge in a group of people as intense and adrift as one could encounter. At the center (in Louise’s eyes) is Claude Collier, rumpled, accident prone, supremely sweet—and desperate. For Claude, Louise is his steadying focus; for Louise, Claude is the only man who can break her heart “into a million pieces on the floor.” By turns elegiac and eccentric, Lives of the Saints is the debut novel that marked Nancy Lemann as a rising literary star.
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