My Father's War
  • Author: West, Paul
  • Binding: Clothbound, sewn, jacketed
  • Pages: 187
  • Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/2"
  • Pub. Year: 2005
  • ISBN: 0-929701-75-5
  • In Stock: Yes
Price: $24.00

OCTOBER 2006 SELECTION OF THE READERS' SUBSCRIPTION BOOK CLUB



FINALIST: 2005 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD -- AUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

Eight years previous, acclaimed novelist Paul West presented a warmly received memoir of his mother, My Mother's Music. Revisiting the scene, Paul West delivers in his 40th book an equally remarkable memoir of his father, a half-blinded, shell-shocked veteran of three years of trench warfare during "The War to End All Wars." But the time recounted mostly occupies 1939 to 1945, while ten-year-old Paul grows to fifteen. Together, father and son play war games, guarding the English coast from foxholes under the kitchen table, or watching as real Nazi bombers on moonlit nights pass overhead. The father, meanwhile, is forever instructing the son in the details of his own experience. The two have much in common, though distantly, and the boy Paul slowly learns to understand and even second-guess his father, though the compulsions that possess the war veteran remain a mystery that separates their generations—a conundrum of what the son wishes his still-damaged father could be, and those expectations no father can ever quite live up to. In this engaging memoir, Paul West recreates his own youth, and gives us in twenty-five chiseled chapters a view of two lives evoking the deep effects of war, and conveying the distance between those who survive its devastations, and those who must bear its consequence.

REVIEWS:
"What a find...to settle into Paul West's lyrical recollections of his father and to track West's adolescent evolution toward that stunning moment when a son realizes the complicated emotional circuitry of that figure long accepted as being as uncomplicated as a god.... As England lurches toward yet another war to end all wars...the son comes to see the difficult dynamics of the past and the hard dignity of a generous heart savagely bent by war.... West invests the ordinary experiences of his adolescence with extraordinary dimension through the apparently effortless exertion of rich language that confers on these memories the sheen of significance."--Joseph Dewey, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. XXV, No. 3, Fall 2005more...

AUTHOR:
British by birth, American since 1971, Mr. West authored an array of imaginative novels -- including Rat Man of Paris, Lord Byron's Doctor, The Place in Flowers Where Pollen Rests, The Tent of Orange Mist -- along with such non-fiction works as...
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