From 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
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"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" -- Michael Ondjaate "A truly extraordinary novel... Maxwell has tapped a vein of strange, pure emotion" -- Philip Hensher Mail on Sunday "So magically deft at being profound...possesses that daunting quality impossible to emulate: it makes greatness seem simple" -- Richard Ford "Maxwell does something all great novelists do: he conjures depths of pain and regret in words of radiant simplicity" -- Anthony Quinn Observer "This calm, reflective and extraordinarily beautiful novel offers American fiction at its finest" Irish Times
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