This new book by Walter Edmonds is a cause for celebration. For decades Edmonds has been one of America's most popular writers. A National Book Award and Newbery Medal winner, his Drums Along the Mohawk is one of the all-time best sellers. His many historical novels about America and his extremely popular children's books have earned for him a loyal and substantial group of fans. Edmonds' latest book, his first in decades, will be welcomed by readers all over. Tales My Father Never Told is a nostalgic look back at another time and place. This is the autobiography Edmonds never wrote. It lovingly recreates his childhood and pre-adolescent days growing up at the foot of the great Adirondacks, in the rural beauty of the Northlands. He writes about his first drunk, his special love for fly-fishing, certain Irish "ghosts" known to inhabit the land along their stream... and his father: "We did not often understand each other then; in the end I was able to see that love had existed, existed on both sides, and perhaps that disclosure is justification for this small book". Tales thus has a thoughtful and sometimes painful edge to it, but there is much humor too, as when the young "Watty" learns to forge his father's signature, or where he hints that the dagger father has mounted over his bed might be tipped with curare. And so, Tales is about youth and rural life, about the early years of one of this country's finest writers and, as Edmonds tells us, it is the story of a father and a son, of the love he felt for the son, deep and real, and of a love that "worked both ways".
"...[A]s the tales move through Mr. Edmonds's childhood, they provide a devasting account of how a narcissistic father can traumatize his family....And Mr. Edmunds determines that despite it all, he and his father had actually loved each other--a disclosure that he says might be justification enough for 'this small book.'"
Jon Elsen, New York Times Book Review, 11/12/1995