Greg Jackson: Prodigals

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Prodigals (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Greg Jackson's new collection of eight stories, follows the lives of youngish people of privilege on their journey to deconstruct just what their destination is supposed to be. But, says Jackson, his characters might be running up against the mystery of themselves, and progression (or lack thereof) becomes the book's meta-narrative as well as its "leading character." If all this seems a little confusing, there is no comfort in tidy endings. Jackson believes open-ended stories signal a belief in humanity and, though he spends a lot of time providing the reader with handholds throughout, he also believes in rewarding second readings.