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And the War Came: An Accidental Memoir
     

And the War Came: An Accidental Memoir

by David Wyatt
 

    The prevailing mood of my early and Ann’s mid-fifties has been one of the sense of an ending, surely, but more than that, of a gathering urgency. . . . Fewer of the moments between us feel rehearsed, or forced. And now, just as we had begun to glimpse something like wisdom, glimmering over the horizon, the world smacks the hell out of

Overview

    The prevailing mood of my early and Ann’s mid-fifties has been one of the sense of an ending, surely, but more than that, of a gathering urgency. . . . Fewer of the moments between us feel rehearsed, or forced. And now, just as we had begun to glimpse something like wisdom, glimmering over the horizon, the world smacks the hell out of us. I am strangely grateful, even so, if only for the felt return, in recent days, of the possibility of strong emotion.
    On the day of the terrorist attacks, a man begins writing down things said by his family and friends. The trauma appears to have marooned diarist David Wyatt in a shell-shocked present tense. But as he experiences all of the emotions of that fall, he is visited by deep memories that transform his daily journal-keeping into an "accidental memoir," a narrative that reaches a surprising and moving conclusion on Thanksgiving Day.
    Juggling the roles of English professor, restaurant owner, husband, father, son, and friend, Wyatt finds sustenance at the core of ordinary American life, resources at once so available and so elusive. Passionate about people, books, food, and landscapes present and lost—and absolutely unheroic—the voices summoned here counter the sanctimonious and the sentimental. Wyatt’s elegantly understated memoir reveals how the events of September 11 affected ordinary people and presents this anthology of thoughts, feelings, and interactions in a frank and immediate voice.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"David Wyatt focuses our attention on the ripple effects of a stone tossed into a pond—a private pond, and a public pond, as well: as the circles widen and disappear, we remember and re-imagine the initial tossing of the stone, and re-examine our own lives in the context of the choices we’ve made, and the decisions that have been made for us, individually and as a nation."—Ann Beattie, author of The Doctor's House and Perfect Recall

"Instinctively finding moments in which people are revealed for their true essence, Wyatt places the September 11 events on a human, domestic level, and shows how they touch everybody’s lives."—Brian Bouldrey, author of The Boom Economy

"This is truly astonishing storytelling, an unprecedented combination of autobiography and reflective essay, written with a startling clarity that evokes the vivid immediacy in our lives. There will be much journalism and historical commentary about September 11—but none can possibly match the emotional dimensions, the bewildered humanity, the day-to-day feel of things, how our inner lives are suddenly made turbulent, how we seek solace in the familiars of love and family.  And the War Came is humbling, sad, and inspiring.  I am tremendously grateful for this marvelous book."—Howard Norman, author of The Bird Artist and The Haunting of L

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299201708
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
08/28/2004
Edition description:
1
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

David Wyatt is professor of English at the University of Maryland. His previous books include Five Fires: Race, Catastrophe, and the Shaping of California and Out of the Sixties: Storytelling and the Vietnam Generation.

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