Pete Duval’s Strange Mercies evokes a world of “plants in oversized pots” and “waxy banana leaves arched over a wrought-iron fence,” a world of staggering heat and blinding midday light, a world of stray dogs and curlews, “their song beautiful beyond description.” It is into this world that Mayhew arrives, a cameraman for a Catholic news network as much fleeing the desiccation of his marriage as pursuing the story of a young woman who may or may not be marked by stigmata. From this world something miraculous is made: a modern parable that feels channeled from the ghosts of Fyodor Dostoevsky and John of Patmos.
Pete Duval is the author of Rear View: Stories, a Bakeless Prize winner and finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He teaches at West Chester University and in Spalding University’s low residency MFA in Writing Program and lives in Philadelphia.
Praise for Duval’s work:
“Duval is an inventive stylist.” — Publishers Weekly
“A fresh voice and approach…” — Booklist, ALA
“Intriguing . . . Duval is the master of convincing details.”
— Boston Globe