William Maxwell

William Maxwell


Born
in Lincoln, Illinois, The United States
August 16, 1908

Died
July 31, 2000


William Keepers Maxwell Jr. was an American novelist, and fiction editor at the New Yorker. He studied at the University of Illinois and Harvard University. Maxwell wrote six highly acclaimed novels, a number of short stories and essays, children's stories, and a memoir, Ancestors (1972). His award-winning fiction, which is increasingly seen as some of the most important of the 20th Century, has recurring themes of childhood, family, loss and lives changed quietly and irreparably. Much of his work is autobiographical, particularly concerning the loss of his mother when he was 10 years old growing up in the rural Midwest of America and the house where he lived at the time, which he referred to as the "Wunderkammer" or "Chamber of Wonders". H ...more

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More books by William Maxwell…
“What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory--meaning a moment, a scene, a fact that has been subjected to a fixative and thereby rescued from oblivion--is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually in the mind and often changes with the telling. Too many conflicting emotional interests are involved for life ever to be wholly acceptable, and possibly it is the work of the storyteller to rearrange things so that they conform to this end. In any case, in talking about the past we lie with every breath we draw.”
William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow

“His sadness was of the kind that is patient and without hope.”
William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow
tags: grief

“It seemed like a mistake. And mistakes ought to be rectified, only this one couldn't be. Between the way things used to be and the way they were now was a void that couldn't be crossed. I had to find an explanation other than the real one, which was that we were no more immune to misfortune than anybody else, and the idea that kept recurring to me...was that I had inadvertently walked through a door that I shouldn't have gone through and couldn't get back to the place I hadn't meant to leave. Actually, it was other way round: I hadn't gone anywhere and nothing was changed, so far as the roof over our heads was concerned, it was just that she was in the cemetery.”
William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow
tags: grief

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