A Century of November: A Novel

Overview


Winner of the 2004 Michigan Literary Fiction Award for novel

A haunting story of the power of death, the pain of loss, and the possibility of hope.

"Gripping, damning, and transfixing."
---Entertainment Weekly

" . . . possesses a time-bending gravity. . . . [A] small classic of graceful language and earned emotion."
---San Francisco Chronicle

". . . a beautifully written ...

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Overview


Winner of the 2004 Michigan Literary Fiction Award for novel

A haunting story of the power of death, the pain of loss, and the possibility of hope.

"Gripping, damning, and transfixing."
---Entertainment Weekly

" . . . possesses a time-bending gravity. . . . [A] small classic of graceful language and earned emotion."
---San Francisco Chronicle

". . . a beautifully written novel of war and the wrenching grief and unanswerable questions it leaves in its wake. . . . A Century of November is full of precise, startling imagery and elegant, richly poetic description---Wetherell seems genuinely incapable of writing a lazy sentence---and this last section of the novel is as surreal, hypnotic and harrowing as any literature in recent memory. The whole thing, in fact, is a jewel, an unforgettable historical novel that Wetherell has carefully (and artfully) seeded with loads of contemporary resonance." ---Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)

"A poignant, probing story. . . . Wetherell's prose and character writing are unflinching . . . [and his] take on a parent's anguish is deeply moving."
---Publishers Weekly

"A timely reminder of the devastation of mortal combat. . . ."
---Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wetherell (Morning; Chekhov's Sister) traces the arc of a father's loss in this poignant, probing story about a Canadian judge who journeys from Vancouver to the European battlefield where his son died during the waning days of WWI. Charles Marden is a widower quietly absorbed in his life as a rural magistrate, but his foreboding is also revealed immediately: "He judged men and he grew apples and it was a perilous autumn for both." When he learns that his son, William, has been killed in battle, he immediately decides to visit his grave. Marden is initially denied permission to visit Flanders by the British authorities, but the sudden end of the war changes his situation, and his journey becomes more urgent when he learns that William had impregnated a girl from Belfast, Elaine Reed, who is already in Europe at the battle site. The plot takes several odd, macabre turns once Marden reaches the village where William died, especially when he has to make a deal with a shell-shocked soldier in order to visit the exact death site and learn the particulars of William's final hours. Wetherell's prose and character writing are unflinching, and the final meeting between Marden and Reed is gut-wrenching. Though the novel travels a well-trodden route, Wetherell's take on a parent's anguish is deeply moving. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472031221
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 10/3/2005
  • Series: Michigan Literary Fiction Awards Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,008,984
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

W. D. Wetherell's previous books include the novels Morning and Chekhov's Sister, the short story collections The Man Who Loved Levittown and Wherever That Great Heart May Be. He recently held the Strauss Living grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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