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Polite Conversation
About the Weather

“Most people would scoff at the idea of starting a relationship with a stranger, but when they looked into each other’s eyes, they felt an ineffable bond that came from feeling like strangers among everyone else.”

— from Polite Conversation About the Weather


Told through the eyes of eclectic characters intersecting over time between rural Illinois and New York City, D.A. MacQuin’s stories explore disillusionment in the pursuit of greatness, profound loneliness, and darkness driven by outsider status. In the title story, Matthew Gold is a man on death row who laments his life decisions in the final hours before his execution. Years later the lingering effects of his crime and punishment are analyzed by his daughter, Leah, as she models in Manhattan. Henry Bright develops a comic book-inspired quilting style, catapulting him into the New York City art world. Jake Murdoch returns home after failing at life on the East Coast, only to gain inspiration from his mistakes to become a successful new Midwestern author.


In these connected stories, MacQuin chronicles complex emotional territory as her characters, each touched by Midwestern roots, pursue what feels like a more significant life beyond the barriers of their backgrounds.

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