From Our Editors
On an Illinois farm in the 1920s, a man is murdered, and in the same moment the tenous friendship between two lonely boys comes to an end. In telling their interconnected stories, American Book Award winner William delivers a masterfully restrained and magically evocative meditation on the past. "A small, perfect novel".--Washington Post Book World
From the Publisher
In this magically evocative novel, William Maxwell explores the
enigmatic gravity of the past, which compels us to keep explaining
it even as it makes liars out of us every time we try. On a winter
morning in the 1920s, a shot rings out on a farm in rural Illinois.
A man named Lloyd Wilson has been killed. And the tenuous
friendship between two lonely teenagers-one privileged yet
neglected, the other a troubled farm boy-has been shattered.Fifty
years later, one of those boys-now a grown man-tries to reconstruct
the events that led up to the murder. In doing so, he is inevitably
drawn back to his lost friend Cletus, who has the misfortune of
being the son of Wilson''s killer and who in the months before
witnessed things that Maxwell''s narrator can only guess at. Out of
memory and imagination, the surmises of children and the
destructive passions of their parents, Maxwell creates a luminous
American classic of youth and loss.
From the Jacket
On an Illinois farm in the 1920s, a man is murdered, and in the same moment the tenous friendship between two lonely boys comes to an end. In telling their interconnected stories, American Book Award winner William delivers a masterfully restrained and magically evocative meditation on the past. "A small, perfect novel."--Washington Post Book World.
About the Author
Born in Lincoln, Illinois in 1908, William Maxwell is one of America's more prominent writers. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the National Book Critics Circle Award (1994), and the American Book Award (1982) for his novel "So Long, See You Tomorrow." Maxwell's fiction has been described as nostalgic. Most of his work takes place in simpler, gentler times in the small towns of the American Midwest. Two of Maxwell's novels, "They Came Like Swallows" (1937) and "So Long, See You Tomorrow" (1980), deal with characters who lose relatives in the influenza epidemic of 1918. Maxwell's own mother died in the epidemic when he was ten years old. Maxwell published his first novel, "Bright Center of Heaven," in 1934. He moved to New York City in 1936 and was hired by the New Yorker. His years as an editor there, 1936 to 1976, coincided with what many believe are the magazine's finest. This was the era that saw the publication of the works of many accomplished writers, such as J. D. Salinger, Eudora Welty, John Updike, and Mary McCarthy in the New Yorker's pages. Maxwell has published six novels, several collections of short stories, a family history, and numerous book reviews. He served as president of the National Institute of Arts and letters from 1969 to 1972. William Maxwell has been married for over 50 years to the former Emily Noyes. They met at the New Yorker when she applied for a job. The couple has two daughters.