Elliot Ratzman's Reviews > So Long, See You Tomorrow

So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell
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Jun 16, 2011

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William Maxwell: where did this writer come from? He was the New Yorker fiction editor for decades, and has half a dozen books about the rural areas of Illinois where he grew up. Michael Ondaatje called this short book “one of the great books of our age”—quite an endorsement. Maxwell’s nameless narrator writes: “This memoir—if that’s the right name for it—is a roundabout, furtive way of making amends.” Is it the right name? This is a work of fiction posing as a memoir whose author uses his imagination to reconstruct the events of a tragic murder in his hometown. Everyone in my book group loved this book. In short the book is a multiperspectival recreation of the events that led up to the adulterous affair and the murder. It is also the narrator “making amends” to the murderer’s son who may or may not have been slighted by the narrator. A small study of desire and loss, and a commentary on the ways in which every attempt to recreate the past, even to redeem the past, is an act of lying.
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