Bill Calvin is an old man, daily losing words, forgetting words. That forgetting prompts his preoccupation with his earliest memories. He remembers that baby was his very first word—it is his name well into his toddler years. He is the youngest of six children and the only boy. It’s 1945 and the end of WWII. His father, known to him only from a photo of a handsome soldier wearing an army uniform, is about to enter his life.
Everything changes when his father decides to sell their family home and use the money to buy a meat packing company he works for in rural western Pennsylvania. Three-year-old Billy Calvin narrates these events. Possibly one of the youngest narrators in fiction, his confusions and perceptions give the story a unique humor and poignancy. By the time he is six years old, events thrust Billy into a world outside of his family and his small town. His funny and touching view of that world continues to be framed by his obsession with words.
It Was and Was Not So, like all stories, is told with words but this story is also about words. It balances precariously between the very first baby talk, and an older person’s loss of words.
From Billy Calvin’s earliest puzzling over what “dead” means to his later-in-life reflections on his real experiences with death—lives lost to aging, to war, the AIDS epidemic and the events of 9/11, this is the story of how language helps us make sense of a lifetime.
|Publisher:||Paramount Market Publishing, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
About the Author
Bill Castle is a teacher and playwright. His off-Broadway productions include: The Diaries of Trudy Sagebrush, Keep the Change, Talking in the Rain and Slow Dancing in the Fast Lane. In addition, he has performed his work in New York City at Re Cher Chez, The Kitchen, Franklin Furnace and Folk City. He taught fifth grade at Our Lady of Pompeii School in Greenwich Village before retiring. His plays for children, produced at the school, include The Chance of Change and Time Storm. He is a graduate of Penn State University and did graduate studies at Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh. He currently resides in Rochester, New York. It Was and Was Not So is his first novel.