About the Book
The sky is falling for the Caspers of Chicago, a family of cowards: for Jonathan, a paleontologist, searching in vain for a prehistoric giant squid; for his wife, Madeline, an animal behaviorist with a failing experiment; for their daughter, Amelia, a disappointed teenage revolutionary; for her younger sister, Thisbe, on a frustrated search for God; and for grandfather Henry, who wants to disappear, limiting himself to thirteen words a day, then twelve, then eleven, until he will speak no more.
Each fears uncertainty and the possibilities that accompany it. When Jonathan and Madeline suddenly decide to separate, this nuclear family is split, each member forced to confront his or her own cowardice, finally coming to appreciate the cloudiness of the modern age. With wit and humor, THE GREAT PERHAPS presents a revealing look at anxiety, ambiguity, and the need for complicated answers to complex questions.
Joe Meno is a fiction writer and playwright who lives in Chicago. A winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award and the Society of Midland Author’s Fiction Prize, he is the author of four novels, The Boy Detective Fails (Akashic 2006,) Hairstyles of the Damned (Akashic 2004,) Tender as Hellfire (St. Martin’s 1999), and How the Hula Girl Sings (HarperCollins 2001.) His short story collections include Demons in the Spring (2008), a finalist for the 2009 Story Prize, and Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir (TriQuarterly 2005.) His online serial, The Secret Hand, runs through Playboy magazine at playboy.com. His short fiction has been published in the likes of McSweeney’s, Witness, TriQuarterly, Mid-American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Washington Square, Other Voices, Gulf Coast, and broadcast on NPR.
He is a contributing editor to Punk Planet magazine and is a professor of creative writing at Columbia College Chicago. Two short films based on Joe Meno’s work have been recently produced: Our Neck of the Woods, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and the forthcoming Tender as Hellfire.