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The Peacock Feast opens on a June day in 1916 with Louis C. Tiffany, the eccentric glass genius, dynamiting the breakwater at Laurelton Hall—his fantastical mansion with columns capped by brilliant glass flowers, and a boiler hidden in a blue-tiled minaret—so as to foil the town reclaiming the beach for public use. The explosion shakes both the apple crate where Prudence, the daughter of Tiffany's prized gardener, is sleeping and the rocks behind which Randall, her brother, is playing. Nearly a century later, Prudence receives an unexpected visit from Grace, a hospice nurse and the granddaughter of Randall, who Prudence never saw again after he stowed away on a train to California. Grace arrives with a box of mementos from her grandfather's house—objects that for Prudence release long-repressed memories and bring her to a new understanding of the choices she made in work and love, and what she faces now in her final days.

The Peacock Feast spans the twentieth century and three continents, ricocheting from New York to San Francisco, from the decadent mansions of the Tiffany family to a Texas death-row prison, and from the London consultation room of Anna Freud to a California commune. With psychological acuity and aching eloquence, Lisa Gornick has written a magnificent family drama, an exploration of the meaning of art and the art of dying, and a heartrending portrait of how our decisions reverberate across time and space.

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781250251282
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pub Date: 04/02/2020
  • Category: Fiction & related items / Sagas
  • Imprint: Picador US
  • Pages: 304
  • Price: $24.99

The Peacock Feast opens on a June day in 1916 with Louis C. Tiffany, the eccentric glass genius, dynamiting the breakwater at Laurelton Hall—his fantastical mansion with columns capped by brilliant glass flowers, and a boiler hidden in a blue-tiled minaret—so as to foil the town reclaiming the beach for public use. The explosion shakes both the apple crate where Prudence, the daughter of Tiffany's prized gardener, is sleeping and the rocks behind which Randall, her brother, is playing. Nearly a century later, Prudence receives an unexpected visit from Grace, a hospice nurse and the granddaughter of Randall, who Prudence never saw again after he stowed away on a train to California. Grace arrives with a box of mementos from her grandfather's house—objects that for Prudence release long-repressed memories and bring her to a new understanding of the choices she made in work and love, and what she faces now in her final days.

The Peacock Feast spans the twentieth century and three continents, ricocheting from New York to San Francisco, from the decadent mansions of the Tiffany family to a Texas death-row prison, and from the London consultation room of Anna Freud to a California commune. With psychological acuity and aching eloquence, Lisa Gornick has written a magnificent family drama, an exploration of the meaning of art and the art of dying, and a heartrending portrait of how our decisions reverberate across time and space.

Author Information

LISA GORNICK is the author of Louisa Meets Bear, Tinderbox, and A Private Sorcery. Her stories and essays have appeared widely, including in The New York Times, Prairie Schooner, Real Simple, Salon, Slate, and The Sun. She holds a B.A. from Princeton and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Yale, and is on the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. She lives in New York City with her family.

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