352 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 0.8 in
July 1, 2001
Washington Square Press
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0671567764
ISBN - 13: 9780671567767
Read from the Book
Chapter OneIn the summer of 1955 New England lay shimmering under one of the worst heat waves of the century. But don't try to verify this in any of the weather annals. No, this heat was intolerable not because of record-setting temperatures but because of what seemed like an unending succession of sweltering days. Swimming pools that summer were so swarming with people you couldn't swim a stroke, and beaches were so littered with bodies you couldn't walk fast enough to let the air move around you. Movie theaters, because they advertised their air-conditioning in icy blue letters, did record business, and stores that sold Popsicles, electric fans, or cold beer were certain to sell out. If you lived in a city and could leave, you left.In 1955 my family was one of the lucky ones who could escape. My father, Robert Finley, was an editor at Harrison House, and he was not often required to be in his office during the summer. He frequently brought his work home to read and edit anyway. My mother, Doreen, taught English at Westcott College for Women -- as it was called then -- and always had the summer off. So, after the middle of June, when my sister, Janie, and I finished our week of French camp, our family headed for the cool green hills of Vermont and left behind our fellow Bostonians, stuck to the city and each other with their own sweat. That summer Janie was eight and I was eleven.In Vermont we rented a large old Victorian house with a huge front porch that tilted toward New
From the Publisher
In a captivating departure, Larry Watson, "a writer whose work is worthy of prizes" (Los Angeles Times Book Review), unveils a portrait of faith, obsession, and enduring love -- and a work of greater tenderness than anything he has yet written.
Love captures Paul Finley, in, of all places, his own bedroom -- literally waking him from his dreams. The night he discovers Laura Pettit standing at his windowsill, Paul is eleven years old, a boy naturally inclined toward seriousness, precociously adept at the art of watching the world without being watched. Laura is twenty-two, a fiercely passionate and independent poet already experiencing the first flickers of fame, a beautiful woman on the brink of seducing Paul's father. No matter; Paul is smitten. When she leaves him to rejoin the grown-ups' party downstairs, Laura issues Paul a wholly impossible command, one that will haunt and consume both of them for the rest of their lives: "Forget me."
Laying bare the inner life of one man during the course of nearly four decades, Larry Watson delivers a riveting treatise on the excruciating power of love -- and two of the most remarkable characters in recent American literature. Infused with breathtaking pathos and delicate grace, Laura is an extraordinary triumph of the novelist's art.
About the Author
was born in Rugby, North Dakota, and raised in Bismarck. Honored with the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, a National Endowment of the Arts award, the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association Regional Book Award, and numerous other literary prizes, Watson teaches English at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. He is also the author of White Crosses, Justice, Montana 1948, In a Dark Time,
and the poetry collection Leaving Dakota.
Register-Pajaronian (Santa-Cruz, CA) Larry Watson has captured the unforgettable and excruciating power of love gone awry in Laura.