1998, Hardcover, 192 pp., Picador USA
“These knowing, sometimes dark tales are about people struggling to connect with each other in spite of their own ambivalence.”
The Lifeguard combines Mary Morris’s consummate craft as a storyteller with her gift for dramatic travel writing. In the title story, a teenage lifeguard sees his mystique among the girls on the beach dissolve in a panicked moment when he cannot save a child. In “The Glass-Bottom Boat,” a mother on her first trip abroad learns about trust from a solicitous stranger.
The Lifeguard is a powerful collection of ten short stories that shows Morris’s great sensitivity to men and women at moments of turbulence, uncertainty, and crisis.