The Honor of Your Presence
In this long short story, or short novella, Dave Eggers gives us an unforgettable duo, Helen and Peter Mahoney, a homebody niece and her adventurous, almost-British uncle. Helen designs invitations to parties and galas to which she is not welcome, and is quite comfortable with that. One day, though, Peter wonders, "Why not print an extra invite and I'll be your plus one?" What starts out as an innocuous lark becomes much more -- a very funny and lyrical referendum on why humans congregate and celebrate.