Sharply observed and brilliantly plotted, Stars and Bars is an uproarious portrait of culture clash deep in the heart of the American South, by one of contemporary literature’s most imaginative novelists.
A recent transfer to Manhattan has inspired art assessor Henderson Dores to shed his British reserve and aspire to the impulsive and breezy nature of Americans. But when Loomis Gage, an eccentric millionaire, invites him to appraise his small collection of Impressionist paintings, Dores's plans quite literally go south. Stranded at a remote mansion in the Georgia countryside, Dores is received by the bizarre Gage family with Anglophobic slurs, nausea-inducing food, ludicrous death threats, and a menacing face off with competing art dealers. By the time he manages to sneak back to New York City–sporting only a cardboard box–Henderson Dores realizes he is fast on the way to becoming a naturalized citizen.