Stephen McCauley is one of America's great novelists, period. While other authors get lost chasing attention and acceptance or writing precious books no one wants to read, he consistently delivers the very best of what fiction can be: original, funny, wise, and true. On tour for his sixth wonder, Insignificant Others [and Kindle], he said he felt he may have taken the comedy of manners as far as it could go. His successes range from his superb True Enough to his effervescent debut, The Object of My Affection, and three other gems: The Easy Way Out, The Man of the House, and Alternatives to Sex. Like John Banville's Benjamin Black or Joyce Carol Oates' Rosamond Smith, McCauley explored a different genre with the freedom of a new name. If his own books are fine feature films -- and they are! Have you seen the French adaptation of True Enough, called La vérité ou presque, starring Karin Viard and François Cluzet? -- his Rain Mitchell novels are glorious television on the page: big, bright, walloping delights. Start with Tales from the Yoga Studio then shift positions to Head Over Heels.
You must also read his knockout piece, "Let's Say," about his uneasy truce with his difficult, antigay father in Patrick Merla's collection Boys Like Us. A couple as handsome as they are talented, McCauley and longtime partner Sebastian Stuart (a Ferro-Grumley winner for The Hour Between) live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.