Maile Meloy was listed as one of Granta's 21 Best Young American Novelists.
A love-struck young ranch hand, an aging Argentine lover, a trusted confidante who isn't a friend and two hitchhikers named Bonnie and Clyde.
Caught between opposing forces-fidelity and desire, impulse and security, innocence and experience-Meloy's unforgettable characters have each reached a fork in the road. But what kind of fool wants it only one way?
These eleven stories are funny, sly and sparkling with energy. Both Ways Is The Only Way I Want It is a joyous read.
'Maile Meloy writes with eerie clarity about the way human beings lust for the agents of they own undoing. Beautiful, terrifying writing.' Joanna Murray-Smith
Meloy (Liars and Saints) hits some high notes in these stories of people juggling conflicting emotions with varying shades of success. In "The Children," a man's resolve to leave his wife for his now-grown children's former swimming instructor is unexpectedly "doomed to ambivalence and desire" when he's confronted by the comforting "habit of his marriage." Marital tensions are also at the heart of "O Tannenbaum," in which a couple, while hunting for a Christmas tree with their daughter, pick up a stranded couple whose bickering casts into relief the cracks in their own relationship. Other pieces focus on loneliness, as in the opening story about a young ranch hand's efforts to connect with a lawyer moonlighting as a night-school teacher, or as in "Agust n," where an elderly widower yearns for a lost, illicit lover. Meloy's characters frequently leave each other or let each other down, and it is precisely that their vulnerabilities, failures and flaws that make them so wonderful to follow as they vacillate between isolation and connection.