THE DREAM LIFE OF ASTRONAUTS

Patrick Ryan

For readers of Tom Perrotta and Lorrie Moore, these nine unforgettable stories, all set in and around Cape Canaveral, showcase Patrick Ryan’s masterly understanding of regret and hope, relationships and family, and the universal longing for love.

 The Dream Life of Astronauts balances heartbreak with wry humor as its characters try to make sense of the paths they find themselves on. A would-be Miss America auditions for a shady local talent scout over vodka and Sunny D; a NASA engineer begins to wonder if the woman he’s having an affair with is slowly poisoning her husband;

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For readers of Tom Perrotta and Lorrie Moore, these nine unforgettable stories, all set in and around Cape Canaveral, showcase Patrick Ryan’s masterly understanding of regret and hope, relationships and family, and the universal longing for love.

 The Dream Life of Astronauts balances heartbreak with wry humor as its characters try to make sense of the paths they find themselves on. A would-be Miss America auditions for a shady local talent scout over vodka and Sunny D; a NASA engineer begins to wonder if the woman he’s having an affair with is slowly poisoning her husband; a Boy Scout troop leader, recovering from a stroke, tries to protect one of his scouts from being bullied by his own sons; an ex-mobster living in witness protection feuds with the busybody head of his condo board; a grandmother, sentenced to driver’s ed after a traffic accident, surprises herself by falling for her instructor.

Set against landmark moments—the first moon launch, Watergate, the Challenger explosion—these private dramas unfurl in startling ways. The Dream Life of Astronauts ratifies the emergence of an indelible new talent in fiction.

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  • The Dial Press
  • Hardcover
  • July 2017
  • 272 Pages
  • 9780385341387

Buy the Book

$26.00

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About Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan is the author of the novel Send Me, as well as three novels for young readers. His work has been published in Granta, Tin House, Crazyhorse, and One Story and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories. He lives in New York City.

Author Website

Praise

“[Ryan] displays a gift for excavating the dashed hopes and yearnings that lie beneath. He is especially adept at capturing the point of view of children, with a Salingeresque understanding of their alienation, their vulnerability, their keen powers of observation.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Quietly commanding . . . A wry and smart collection—a beam of intelligent life from an author who clearly likes to probe the outer edges of the familiar.”—Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air

“Ryan is a master of the old-fashioned, captivating storytelling that deceptively reads as effortless. . . Ryan never actually sends his characters into space; but his orbits of the human heart are enough.”The New York Times Book Review