|Eric Kraft||Peter Leroy
Cover image: Szinyei Merse, Lovers (detail, 1869)
Herb ’n’ Lorna
“The novel is all about sex, and sex, in Herb 'n' Lorna, means everything in life that is good — craft and art and imagination and hard work and humor and friendship and skill and curiosity and loyalty and love.”
Peter Leroy investigates and reconstructs the life stories of his maternal grandparents, Herb and Lorna Piper.
On the surface, Herb and Lorna seem to be a typically sunny 1950s American couple. Herb sells Studebakers to the citizens of Babbington, a Long Island seaside town, and Lorna is his cheerfully coy and clever wife. Their story seems like an American myth: small-town origins, Jazz Age romance, Depression trials, postwar prosperity.
However, this book begins with Peter Leroy’s discovery, after Herb and Lorna have died, “that my maternal grandparents were involved in—virtually the creators of—the animated erotic jewelry industry.” From that moment, the story takes on a tone of mingled awe and delight, propelled by a pair of secrets that dovetail, at the end, into a luscious and bawdy revelation.
“A beautiful book.”
“A wonderful love story.”
“Funny, raunchy, and clever.”
“Nothing short of brilliant.”
“Wonderfully odd, comically rich.”
“A funny, sexy story told with consummate skill.”
“It restores the blush of youth.”
“Wise and humorous, affectionate and witty.”
“There aren’t enough adjectives to praise this delightfully generous storyteller. Herb ’n’ Lorna is a classic. Savor it.”
“Kraft es, en mi opinion, un maestro.”
“One of the undiscovered gems of recent American fiction: a romance of
uncommon tenderness and complexity, a work of prodigious comic
invention—and a damn sexy book.”
RECOMMENDED BY THE READER’S CATALOGUE
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR (1988)
Copyright © 2008 by Eric Kraft. All rights reserved. Photograph by Eric Kraft.