So Long, See You Tomorrow

So Long, See You Tomorrow

3.7 8
by William Maxwell
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This superb series of interviews and readings has expanded to include longer selections from its authors, in this case a short, autobiographical novel that won Maxwell the American Book Award in 1980. Set in Lincoln, Illinois, which Maxwell calls "my imagination's home," the story is modeled after incidents in Maxwell's youth: his mother's death when he was ten; his father's remarriage and their move to a new house; and Maxwell's relationship to a killer's son. Maxwell's narration, like his prose, is devoid of all theatrical effect: it is a quietly told story by a thoughtful man with something on his mind and in his heart. He is nevertheless traversing fairly familiar fictional ground. What is extraordinary about this program is his talk with Kay Bonetti, in which Maxwell, 87 at the time of this recording, discusses his life and work with a reflective honesty that is unmatched by any other author in the series. Maxwell's career also encompasses four decades as fiction editor of The New Yorker, and questions about the authors with whom he worked, such as John Cheever and J.D. Salinger, are met with the same directness and lucidity that characterize his prose. Recommended.Peter Josyph, New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679767206
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/28/1996
Series:
Vintage International Series
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
182,662
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 8.01(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

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.

What People are saying about this

Michael Ondaatje
This is one of the great books of our age. It is the subtlest of miniatures that contains our deepest sorrows and truths and love—all caught in a clear, simple style in perfect brushstrokes.
John Updike
What a lovely book, utterly unlike any other in shape I have ever read.

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