"Each of Moss's surprising, beautifully constructed, and soulful stories brilliantly illuminates the paradox of paradise." —Booklist
These eight magical stories address the Edenic spaces that people create in their lives and the serpents that subtly inhabit them. In "Rug Weaver" (selected for Best American Short Stories 2001) an Iranian rug dealer makes a paradise of his prison cell by weaving an elaborate rug in his mind. Grieving parents in the title story transfigure a luxury subdivision in southern California into a vision of heaven. And in the novella "The Palm Tree of Dilys Cathcart" an unlikely love story unfolds between an Orthodox Jewish butcher and a lonely English piano teacher, who discovers a hunger for intimacy and ritual as she helps the butcher transcribe the mysterious songs he hears in his head. These and other stories constitute an elegant and richly evocative collection about the complexities of worldly and spiritual desires. Reading group guide included.