A Tidewater Morning: Three Tales from Youth

A Tidewater Morning: Three Tales from Youth

by William Styron
     
 

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In this brilliant collection of "long short stories, " the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sophie's Choice returns to the coastal Virginia setting of his first novels. Through the eyes of a man recollecting three episodes from his youth, William Styron explores with new eloquence death, loss, war, and racism.  See more details below

Overview

In this brilliant collection of "long short stories, " the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sophie's Choice returns to the coastal Virginia setting of his first novels. Through the eyes of a man recollecting three episodes from his youth, William Styron explores with new eloquence death, loss, war, and racism.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The publisher bills this as Styron's first book of fiction in more than a decade. Sophie's Choice was published in 1979--but that is misleading: the most recent of these three Esquire stories collected here was published in 1987, and the other two appeared in 1978 and 1985. As one would expect, there are patches of startling writing here, particularly in the title story, in which Styron's evocation of the Virginia landscape of his youth is achingly beautiful. But on the evidence of these unremarkable pieces, Styron does not seem to be a natural short-story writer; his lush prose needs the breathing room of a long novel, space enough for his narrative to gather momentum before lifting off. The three tales are united by their single narrator, one Paul Whitehurst, and his search for ``light refracted within a flashing moment of remembered childhood.'' They take up the issues Styron has grappled with in previous fiction--the legacy of slavery and racism in the South, the constricting ties of family relationships, the tragedy of war--but with neither a refreshing new perspective nor the tremendous oratorical potency that Styron's readers expect from him. This is well-crafted magazine fiction that is satisfying only for as long as it lasts. (Sept.)
Library Journal
In each of these three stories, which orignally appeared in Esquire magazine in the Seventies and Eighties, narrator Paul Whitehurst recalls significant episodes from his childhood in Virginia during the Depression and the Second World War. In ``Love Day,'' Paul remembers his father's analysis of the economic benefits the war has brought to the South, as he himself sails to Japan with the invasion fleet. In ``Shadrach,'' a dying former slave returns to the rundown plantation where he was born. In the title story, Paul commemorates his mother's agonizing death from cancer. The narratives, as Styron says in a preface, ``reflect the experiences of the author,'' as well as recapitulate, in luminous prose, most of the major themes of his longer fiction, from Set This House on Fire (1951) to Sophie's Choice (1981). For all its brevity, this collection is arguably the best single-volume introduction to this important author. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/93.-- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679754497
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/1994
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
438,100
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 8.01(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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