The bestselling author of "Stones from the River" and "The Vision of Emma Blau" renews her reputation as an extraordinary writer of short stories in this major collection that balances her reader on the magical border of laughter and sorrow. In "Hotel of the Saints," Hegi enters the perspectives of lovers and loners, eccentrics and artists, children and parents: a musician tries to protect her daughter from loving a blind man; a seminary student yearns for the certainty of faith that belonged to him as a boy; a woman transcends her embarrassment for her first love, who has tripled in size. Ursula Hegi's bicultural background enriches these eleven luminous stories that are set in Europe, Mexico, and the United States. Her characters take risks in searching out the unique places where faith thrives for each of them - a rundown hotel, the currents of Cabo San Lucas, the embrace of an ex-convict. And once again, she surrounds them with her elegant language and exquisite images.