By W. D. Wetherell
Winner of the 2004 Michigan Literary Fiction Award for novelA haunting tale of the ability of loss of life, the discomfort of loss, and the potential for hope."Gripping, damning, and transfixing."---Entertainment Weekly" . . . possesses a time-bending gravity. . . . [A] small vintage of sleek language and earned emotion."---San Francisco Chronicle". . . a fantastically written novel of battle and the wrenching grief and unanswerable questions it leaves in its wake. . . . A Century of November is filled with distinct, startling imagery and chic, richly poetic description---Wetherell turns out surely incapable of writing a lazy sentence---and this final part of the unconventional is as surreal, hypnotic and harrowing as any literature in contemporary reminiscence. the whole lot, in reality, is a jewel, an unforgettable historic novel that Wetherell has rigorously (and artfully) seeded with a great deal of modern resonance." ---Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)"A poignant, probing tale. . . . Wetherell's prose and personality writing are unflinching . . . [and his] tackle a parent's affliction is deeply moving."---Publishers Weekly "A well timed reminder of the devastation of mortal strive against. . . ."---Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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What did the colonel think? Did any one have any information? Had anyone heard? The Toulon sector? The area around Baccarat? One woman made the mistake of saying her husband wasn't dead, but in hospital, wounded; she asked the colonel if she needed a special pass to reach his side. The other women stared at her as if she were guilty of saying something unbearably cruel. How much they would give to have a husband who was merely wounded! The talk was fast, passionate-again came the feeling they were trying to levitate the table by sheer wishing.
Finally, when the first dishes were pulled away but before the entree, one of the older women took the plunge. " she said, leaning over the table in the old man's direc tion. "What are conditions like at the front right now? " It was obvious the colonel had never heard of such a place. Still, he seemed a kindhearted man, sensitive enough to understand the woman's meaning. " he said, stroking his beard. " The woman nodded vigorously up and down-the colonel's lucky guess filled her with hope. "The Bois de Fays they call it.
Clement Danes and St. Giles Cripplegate and the Guildhall and Lincoln's Inn and Buckingham Palace and Madam Tussauds and Hyde Park and the Zoological Gardens and the docks which are worth a visit, don't let anyone tell you differ ently, particularly down by Wapping. And even those are nothing compared to the greatest attraction, the Tower of London, place where Mary Stuart lost her head. " X The ticket clerk was right-Marden did feel like a tourist, especially that first afternoon. He had gone through life with a certain picture in his mind of En gland, what it looked like, and here the picture was streaming past the train's window, correct to the small est detail.