“I read this so fast I got blisters turning pages. The Red Shoes is so astonishingly good, original, beautiful and amazing… I think The Red Shoes is a great work of art."—Kate Christensen, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Best American Work of Fiction Award for The Great Man
In The Red Shoes, narrator John Laith is mourning the untimely death of his partner, Frank, and is trying to recover from that loss. An active participant in a Twelve Step grief recovery group, he has a loving, supportive network of friends. Yet he feels something is missing, an ability to put his sorrow aside and once again feel the full force of life, its promise of excitement and abandon.
An opportunity presents itself in the form of a present given to him—a pair of shiny red shoes—by a handsome eighteen-year-old modern dancer, who failed to make his mark in the city as an artist. When Laith helps him following an assault, the dancer has nothing to offer by way of thanks except his red shoes. Laith now possesses the sparkling red shoes. Or perhaps they possess him—propelling him on a perilous journey through both the affluent and seedy sides of a vividly brought to life Manhattan at the turn of the millennium.
An innocent in a sinister underworld, Laith tries to survive his newfound ties to unpredictable and chillingly unforgettable characters. Laith inexplicably cannot escape his fascination with exploring the dark side. Is it because of the terrible magical powers of those red shoes? Or is it because of some hidden desire within himself? A riveting battle between the sacred and the profane is at war inside him—and in the end there comes a shocking moment of realization where he must finally choose between them.