The American Wife
University of Michigan Press, 2007

The American Wife won the Michigan Literary Fiction Award in 2007. It is a collection of short stories originally published between 1983 and 2002. The settings—Greece, Annapolis, Boston, North Cambridge, suburban New Jersey, England, Washington D.C, Pennsylvania, Greenwich Village, and Switzerland—reflect not only Elaine Ford’s wide life experience, but her talent for evocation of place and for imaging herself into the lives of others. The most recurrent theme in these stories is the intricacies of love and kinship. As a collection the stories have been praised for emotional complexity, understated economy of style, and a wry sense of humor. Texts of the following stories can be found in Other Writing: “Changeling,” “Rita Lafferty’s Lucky Summer,” and “Cousins.”

Praise and Reviews

Winner of the Michigan Literary Fiction Award, 2007

Elaine Ford’s collection roams the territory between the intellect and the heart. She writes of the human condition with precision, in language that is both grave and conversational. Her characters step out of the real world onto the page, where she develops them quietly, but with compassionate fullness. This writer grips the reader with her keen knowledge of the psyche of individuals-—their motives and secrets—and also with the surprising things that happen to them.

—Laura Kasischke, judge, Michigan Literary Fiction Awards