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The Shape of Things to Come: A Novel (Paperback)

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Isabelle, a woman in her thirties without any of the trappings of a grown-up life, has just been fired from her job at a San Francisco phone company. Returning to the midwestern suburb of her childhood, Standardsville, Illinois, she contends with her dating single mother, a neighbor who once appeared on The Honeymooners, and an ex-boyfriend. She also becomes a mystery shopper for a temp agency, posing as a variety of potential tenants for newly built suburban communities to access their exclusive services.

Enchanted by the possiblities of disguise, Isabelle spins a web of lies that keeps the world at a distance until she unearths long-kept secrets that force her to rethink everything she thought she knew.

About the Author

Maud Casey stories have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. Casey received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Arizona. She lives in Washington, DC and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Maryland.

Praise For…

“Casey is a stand-up philosopher posing vexing questions about human existence. She’s funny, inventive…dazzling narrative dare.”
— The New York Times Book Review

“Complex, mature and compelling.”
— The Chicago Tribune

"Maud Casey's accomplished first novel, takes up with the endearingly subversive Isabelle . . .
— Elle

“A startling debut. [Casey’s] fresh voice emerges like a song that’s bound to be a hit.”
— Virginia Quarterly Review

"Isabelle is so vivacious that even though she's utterly confused about her future, we know it'll turn out just fine."
— Redbook

"Casey is very good at creating characters who are torn between the strong emotions they experience . . . "
— Ann Beattie

"Casey deftly writes about the struggle out of the tomb, the restoration of sanity, the search for a small peace.
— Mark Richard

"Full of lovely sentences, empathetic characters. This story is as engaging and scintillating as one told by a best friend.
— Darcey Steinke

"Isabelle is a millennial treasure. The journey from child to woman . . . is poignant and funny.".
— Anne Rivers Siddons

"This is a wonderful account of our need to both invent and reinvent ourselves. A deft and generous book.
— Margot Livesey
Product Details
ISBN: 9780060084417
ISBN-10: 0060084413
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2002
Pages: 272
Language: English

by Dr. Radut