What My Last Man Did

What My Last Man Did

What My Last Man Did

What My Last Man Did


How are our lives shaped by the difficult choices of our parents and even grandparents? How will our own choices direct the future for our children? Following generations of one family across nearly a century, each of Andrea Lewis's intertwined, engaging short stories evokes an intense sense of place and time, from New Orleans in 1895 to Grand Isle, Louisiana, during the hurricane of 1901 and on to London during the Olympic Games of 1948. The people in these ten vivid tales face tragedy and real-world catastrophic events--war, hurricanes, the Great Depression, racial tension--in their pursuit of love, family, and belonging. Each character struggles to discover and preserve his or her identity and dreams while grappling with the expectations of family and culture and trying to cope with loss. Some succeed, some compromise, and some fail, but all have a traceable impact on a story to come.


I had what I wanted. I was alone with Charles. He was driving and I was so nervous I was tearing little pieces off the edges of his road map.

“The Spanish called it Tierra Blanca,” he said. We were on New Mexico Highway 85, headed northwest out of Las Cruces.

“But only one stratum is white.”

Charles was a chemist. So was I, but he was the head of New Mexico State’s chemistry department and I was a ta in freshman labs. Besides chemistry, he loved rare cactus, meteorology, and geology, including every rock he ever saw. “There’s a fabulous collapse caldera up there, miles wide, filled with all kinds of pyroclastics.”

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