An estranged couple unearth a mysterious artifact in their backyard, setting in motion a series of bewildering events. A lonely software developer takes a position at a shadowy corporation, only to find himself the subject of a new and sinister brand of team training. A window washer mourning the death of a child finds himself confronted with the indelible stains of his own failures.
In eighteen uncanny stories, Keith Rondinelli’s subtle and disquieting debut collection charts a dreamlike netherworld of shifting identities, tech-age anxiety, and the alienating effects of consumerism. A General Theory of Tears paints a surreal portrait of an America on the brink.
Suggestive of David Lynch, George Saunders, and Steven Millhauser, Rondinelli’s nostalgic, speculative visions announce a significant storytelling talent.
“Nimble and balanced and sometimes darkly funny stories that withhold just enough as they circle around loss—familial loss in particular—charting a certain life-shattering damage and its aftermath. A General Theory of Tears is an impressive and accomplished debut. Indeed, it’s so accomplished it's hard to believe it’s a debut."
—Brian Evenson, author of The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell: Stories