A sprawling, multicharacter masterpiece of guilt and the hope for redemption
Opening in 1943 and spanning over a decade, The New Yorkers is Hortense Calisher’s most ambitious novel. Judge Simon Mannix, a well-educated upper-middle-class New Yorker, is faced with a terrible decision when his unfaithful wife is accidentally shot and killed by their twelve-year-old daughter. Mannix insists upon keeping the truth a secret, claiming that the death was a suicide, as he attempts to save his child from a life of psychological trauma. Shame accumulates in his consciousness, and Mannix finds himself obsessed with the nuances of guilt.
Calisher weaves a complex tapestry of closely observed human behaviors and emotions, accentuated by a collection of fragmented portraits of the lives that intersect with those of the judge and his daughter.