Elizabeth Morison is an ordinary woman. Yet to eight-year-old Bunny, his mother is the centre of his universe. To his older brother, Robert, she is someone he must protect against the dangers of the outside world. And to James Morison, his wife is the foundation on which his family rests and life without her is unimaginable. William Maxwell's unique and moving family portrait confirms his reputation as one of the twentieth century's finest novelists.
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In the Morison house the important goes unsaid and indirection is the operative mode--conversation stops where it should start and key terms such as fear, pain, pregnancy, fail to be addressed. The younger son, an eight-year-old, passes his days deciphering adults' inaccessible discussions. "In this fashion they communicated with each other, out of knowledge and experience inaccessible to Bunny. By nods and silences. By a tired curve of his mother's mouth. By his father's measuring glance over the top of his spectacles." Bunny's older brother would rather escape to the outside world, and their father finds declaiming the day's headlines--World War I's end and the onslaught of Spanish Influenza--far preferable to engagement. Only Elizabeth, their mother, is capable of holding the family together. The fifth main character in They Came Like Swallows is the house itself. Maxwell expresses the boys' reactions through this labile, interior landscape. Bunny finds the dining room can be "braced and ready for excitement"; later his brother realizes "for the first time how still the house was, how full of waiting, ... tense and expectant." Though war never makes it to Illinois, the flu changes all. First Bunny is stricken, and once he recovers Elizabeth, pregnant, dies from it. In quiet, piercing prose, William Maxwell's second novel, originally published in 1937, evokes the greatest of losses and the terrors of imagination.From the Inside Flap:
First published in 1937, They Came Like Swallows was William Maxwell's second novel. It tells of an ordinary American family overtaken by the devastating epidemic of the Spanish influenza of 1918. The book begins on the day before the armistice in
a small midwestern town, and the events are seen from the perspective, in turn, of eight-year-old Peter Morison--called Bunny; of his older brother, Robert; and of their father. They are witnesses to a domestic tragedy that is written with beauty and a quite magnificent tenderness.
William Maxwell has been described by The Washington Post as "one of America's most distinguished and distinctive stylists." John Updike has said that "Maxwell's voice is one of the wisest in American fiction; it
is, as well, one of the kindest." The Times Literary Supplement declares
that "Maxwell offers us scrupulously executed, moving landscapes of America's twentieth century, and they do not fade." The Saturday Review said,"They Came Like Swallows is one of those rare tales in which child-hood is reflected in the simplicity and intensity of its own experience."
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Buchbeschreibung Vintage Publishing Dez 2001, 2001. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - Reissue of the unique and moving family portrait, first published in 1937. 192 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9781860469282