So Long, See You Tomorrow

So Long See You Tomorrow On an Illinois farm in the s a man is murdered and in the same moment the tenuous friendship between two lonely boys comes to an end In telling their interconnected stories American Book Award

On an Illinois farm in the 1920s, a man is murdered, and in the same moment the tenuous friendship between two lonely boys comes to an end In telling their interconnected stories, American Book Award winner William Maxwell delivers a masterfully restrained and magically evocative meditation on the past.

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So Long, See You Tomorrow

  1. 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 He wrote of his loss It happened too suddenly, with no warning, and we none of us could believe it or bear it the beautiful, imaginative, protected world of my childhood swept away Since his death in 2000 several works of biography have appeared, including A William Maxwell Portrait Memories and Appreciations W W Norton Co 2004 , My Mentor A Young Man s Friendship with William Maxwell by Alec Wilkinson Houghton Mifflin, 2002 , and William Maxwell A Literary Life by Barbara Burkhardt University of Illinois Press, 2005 In 2008 the Library of America published the first of two collections of William Maxwell, Early Novels and Stories, Christopher Carduff editor His collected edition of William Maxwell s fiction, published to mark the writer s centenary, was completed by a second volume, Later Novels and Stories in the fall of 2008.

162 Reply to “So Long, See You Tomorrow”

  1. Illinois native William Maxwell enjoyed a long, illustrious writing career As his writing life was winding down, Maxwell penned an autobiographical, coming of age story about how events leading up to and following a murder in his small town of Lincoln, Illinois changed his perceptions of life Resulting was So Long, See You Tomorrow, a perceptive novella which garnered the American Book Award.Born in 1908, Maxwell enjoyed life in small town Lincoln, Illinois A farming community in close proximity [...]

  2. This is a little masterpiece of narrative compression Though only 135 pages long, it can seem at times that whole paragraphs of unwritten backstory are suggested by every line, every image A rundown of the plot will not give you a sense of the high level of mastery involved here, but here it is anyway In the early 1920s one married farmer befriends another married farmer then steals his wife Both marriages break up The adulterous wife Fern Smith sues her husband for divorce and wins on grounds o [...]

  3. This is miniature tour de force powerful, moving and beautifully written in a spare writing style that evokes a profound sense of place It s no secret that this novella is an old man s recollection of a tragic episode from his childhood a love triangle and murder in a small, Illinois farm town in the early 1920s Yet, this story reveals much than an account of a crime of passion This slender novel is about childhood memories, nostalgia and dealing with loss, guilt and haunting regrets.Almost eve [...]

  4. So This novel is indisputably a 5 star book by any criterion Each sentence is one the current crop of MFA wielding authors dream of having penned It becomes only intense, lyrical, disturbing, resonant as it progresses to its end These 2 friends reviews do it justice and are lyrical in their own right review show review showKeep your eye on the title It reminds the reader that Maxwell s focus is on collateral damage, on the periphery, less on what appears in the center of the viewfinder.There is [...]

  5. Storytellers are liarsJohn Updike said about this novel What a lovely book, utterly unlike any other in shape I have ever read He s right While the subject matter of this book is not new or particularly original, the form is The framework of the story is about a murder, yes, but William Maxwell tells us all the salacious details in the first chapter farmers, neighbours, best friends, Clarence and Lloyd, become mortal enemies when Lloyd has an affair with Clarence s wife Clarence murders Lloyd.Bu [...]

  6. Speechless That was extraordinary 24 hours later I knew I was in for something special when I heard Richard Ford saying that this was one of his all time favourite books but I didn t expect this level of amazement and mastery as I zipped through these 150 pages on a rainy October Sunday How did someone manage to pack so much humanity in such a tiny work of art The last time I felt such mind blowing concision was when I read The Great Gatsby for the first time Every single sentence contains an en [...]

  7. One of the best depictions of the effect on children and a dog of marital discord I ve ever read This small book manages to say so much about life across the generations with, at its root, the recognition of the importance of ritual for children and the damage that can ensue when a married couple no longer have anything new to offer each other Located in rural farmlands in Middle America there were times when I felt dust between my teeth and in my hair so vividly does Maxwell evoke the landscape [...]

  8. Sometimes small, apparently insignificant actions can haunt one forever It could quite simply be something one said or didn t say And so it is with the narrator of this story A horrible event destroys two families, but it is a small, spur of the moment action that causes him regret for the rest of his life.The writing is beautiful, and with few words much is conveyed Note The narrator says What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory meaning a moment, a scene, a fact that has b [...]

  9. I ve said before that the ending of a work can make the work for me, and such is the case here Not that the beginning wasn t wonderful, it was in fact, the end reflects back to the beginning, another of my favorite things And as I approached the end, I lingered over the sentences, rereading them slight though they may seem, they are so worth it.This slim novel is a perfect example of why a writer writes, how an incident can linger and fester until he works it out of his thoughts and memories, an [...]

  10. A Most Vehement Flame jealousy is cruel as the grave the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame Solomon 8 6, King James BibleThis short novel about a 1921 murder suicide in a small Illinois farming town mesmerized me Written as the recollection of the narrator s friendship with another 14 year old and his reconstruction of events from newspaper accounts fifty years on after he cannot shake a lingering memory of the last time he saw his friend, whose father killed his m [...]

  11. 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 p 27 In this shattering, though very simple, piece, Maxwell writes the story of mid western boys, one looking back on his childhood and remembering the other boy caught up in the vortex of a murder on a farm The details sound bare, sim [...]

  12. William Maxwell wrote a semi autobiographical novel about two lonely boys whose lives briefly intersect Although he is now an old man, he still feels guilt that he did not reach out and offer support to his friend after a tragedy.The narrator s life fell apart when his mother died in the influenza epidemic of 1918 His family members each grieved privately, but no one talked about their feelings It was a difficult time for the sensitive ten year old boy.The second great loss occurs a few years la [...]

  13. Written than forty years after They Came Like Swallows, this book takes up the story of Bunny where it left off in that book But the name Bunny is not used in this book he has become the narrator, and he is never given a name, as far as I can recall I read it very fast, perhaps too fast.Unlike Swallows, this book isn t all about one family but branches out into an almost unrelated story about another couple of families during the same period, 1920s, state of Illinois Maxwell makes the connectio [...]

  14. LA PERDITA DELL INNOCENZA, IL CONFINE DELLA MATURIT William Maxwell stato l editor pi importante della rivista The New Yorker dal 1936 al 1975, dall et di 28 a quella di 67 anni per tre giorni alla settimana era in redazione a fare l editor di gente come Nabokov, Updike, Salinger, Cheever, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Mavis Gallant, Frank O Connor, Maeve Brennan, Eudora Welty, John O Hara e altri e per quattro giorni restava a casa a scrivere la sua letteratura So Long, See You Tomorrow , pubblicato n [...]

  15. Rarely do I find myself re reading books since there are just way too many on my bucket list and time is steadily counting down However, the other day, when my feed showed TWO people adding William Maxwell s So Long, See You Tomorrow, I figured that it must be a sign, so pushing my other reading aside, I grabbed my copy of the book and asked Anne if I could read along She said Yes It was the best decision I d made in a while.You see, I first read this book in early 2009 It was my introduction to [...]

  16. The wind blows hard across the prairie and into small town Lincoln, Illinois You can feel it through the walls.Did I say walls There might as well not be walls in the farmhouses in Lincoln, Illinois The gossip blows hard, too And young boys struggle with the transparent doings of mothers and fathers.William Maxwell uses such a young boy to narrate part of this story He climbs the carpenter s work of his family s new house, unclothed studs and rafters and he will be reminded of that years later a [...]

  17. I love it when an author can tell a big story in so few words This is the sad telling of the aftermath of murder which occurred in a rural community in the 1920 s We even get to hear the dog s prospective which is heartbreaking by the way Good book I would recommend to most everyone.

  18. Great writing and I liked the story within a story framing, but the large cast of characters with similar surnames confused me at times I also cared a lot about Trixie the dog than any of the humans, but maybe that was intentional Poor thing.

  19. I don t know how I d never read this before It s particularly silly, because I ve read possibly three entire books about William Maxwell, and certainly plenty of his New Yorker stuff, just in the way one reads randomly bits of things over the years, and they accrue, and one day, you realize, Hello, I haven t read any books by this writer that EVERYONE ADORES Maxwell was an incredible person by all accounts I read MY MENTOR, the Alec Wilkinson book about him, as well as a straight bio, and anothe [...]

  20. Love, even of the most ardent and soul destroying kind, is never caught by the lens of the camera Oh, man What have I stepped into with this book There s no way a single read is sufficient for me to review this burning revelation of the soul How was it that she didn t realize it was going to last such a short time If anyone should ever ask me to recommend a work of fiction that sums up the human condition, passing this book along, I ll reply, Sit down Read this And don t get up until you re fini [...]

  21. 4.5 Maxwell consegue algo que s os maiores romancistas conseguem transforma a dor e as m goas profundas em palavras de uma brilhante simplicidade Anthony Quinn, ObserverUm livro precioso, uma escrita delicada de uma subtileza que nos leva a desvendar nas entrelinhas o que de mais profundo nos conta Uma hist ria de amizades, as, trai es, crime e arrependimento Um regresso ao passado e uma tentativa de recria o e reden o.S n o leva 5 porque o antecessor, Vieram como Andorinhas, consegue o prod gio [...]

  22. Not even a bleep upon the literary radar Minor, with interspersed Gothickish elements here and there Nothing to write home about bleh.

  23. At 135 pages, this is a book slight in length and deceptively simple in plot, yet powerful in it s depiction of love and loss Set in 1921, in a small rural mid western town, the book opens with a murder On one cold winter morning, a single shot rings out just before daybreak and a local tenant farmer, Lloyd Wilson, is found dead that morning in his barn There is little that s mysterious about the crime, Smith had been having an affair with his best friend s wife and the friend, Clarence Smith, i [...]

  24. I m sometimes skeptical of novels that centre around a murder it can be an easy way to lend emotional power to a story, and can feel like a trick how many people actually get murdered anyway, to justify so many books about murders But So Long, See You Tomorrow is less about the murder than it is about examining the enduring and unforeseen consequences of our decisions both in action and inaction and how these can haunt us, and damage the lives of others in profound ways Some such choices are see [...]

  25. In straightforward and concise prose, seriously not a word is wasted they all have incredible meaning, Maxwell conveys the loss of innocence of two boyhood friends This book is so short but the words and the story are so tall One of the four 1920 s books I am presently reading, by a Chicago author I had never heard of, and it was very very good Reminded me a bit of the writing of Kent Hauf, he manages to provoke tension, dread and a bittersweet poignancy all at the same time The characters, thei [...]

  26. The most heart breaking novel I ve ever read with John Williams Stoner a close second I ve read it several times, taught it twice, and the ending never fails to put a lump in my throat.

  27. 4.5 stars I listened to a story on NPR the other day about how the police can often tell if a suspect is lying because the lies are elaborated fully with so much detail, as if to make up for the fabrication, whereas the truth is often very simple.This book reminded me of that because it is elaborate and full of detail, from the history of the town to the history of each character to the description of one thing or another that strikes the reader as something nobody would just make up, so that th [...]

  28. This is one of the best novellas I have read in years I sought it out after learning that Ann Patchett lists it as one of her favorite books.The story is very simple It s a man trying to make sense of a murder that happened in his small town in Illinois in the 1920s The narrator, who himself had a rough childhood because his mother died when he was young, was once friends with a boy whose father was the accused murderer The narrator now feels guilty that he didn t try to help the boy back then H [...]

  29. Rating 4.5 of fiveMy review was a surprise to me, funnily enough All the way through the book, loaded as always with Author Maxwell s beautiful prose, I was sure that this later career effort would get not quite four stars But then something happened.

  30. One winter morning shortly before daybreak, three men loading gravel heard what sounded like a pistol shot Thus began the arresting novella by William Maxwell So Long, See You Tomorrow was written in 1980 and won the American Book Award and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.The story was set in the early 1910s to 1920s in Lincoln, Illinois Even though the central event was the murder of a tenant farmer Llyod Wilson , the compelling story at least for me was that of t [...]

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