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The author recounts his young son's valiant yet unsuccessful struggle against bone cancer and relates the mystical events that led the author to find hope in loss and salvation in sorrow
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My father was killed during World War II, shortly after I was born in 1943. My mother had difficulty raising me and at the same time holding a job, so she put me in an orphanage and later in a series of boarding homes. I grew up unsure of who I was, desperately in need of a father figure. Books and movies were my escape. Eventually I decided to be a writer and sought help from two men who became metaphorical fathers to me: Stirling Silliphant, the head writer for the classic TV series "Route 66" about two young men in a Corvette who travel America in search of themselves, and Philip Klass (whose pen name is William Tenn), a novelist who taught at the Pennsylvania State University where I went to graduate school from 1966 to 1970. The result of their influence is my 1972 novel, First Blood, which introduced Rambo. The search for a father is prominent in that book, as it is in later ones, most notably The Brotherhood of the Rose (1984), a thriller about orphans and spies. During this period, I was a professor of American literature at the University of Iowa. With two professions, I worked seven days a week until exhaustion forced me to make a painful choice and resign from the university in 1986. One year later, my fifteen-year-old son, Matthew, died from bone cancer, and thereafter my fiction tended to depict the search for a son, particularly in Fireflies (1988) and Desperate Measures (1994). To make a new start, my wife and I moved to the mountains and mystical light of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where my work changed yet again, exploring the passionate relationships between men and women, highlighting them against a background of action as in the newest, Burnt Sienna. To give his stories a realistic edge, he has been trained in wilderness survival, hostage negotiation, executive protection, antiterrorist driving, assuming identities, electronic surveillance, and weapons. A former professor of American literature at the University of Iowa, Morrell now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.From Publishers Weekly:
This is a semi-fictionalized account of the death, from a rare form of cancer, of the author's 15-year-old son. Morrell surrealistically finds himself on the floor of his kitchen, several days before Matthew dies; he has been in the future and, having read the hospital report on the causes of Matthew's death, wants to give his son antibiotics as a prophylactic against the septic shock that will ultimately kill him. Back in the present, the doctors at the University of Iowa hospital don't understand how the author can predict what will happen. They argue that antibiotics could weaken Matthew; they think Morrell is crazed from the strain of his son's illness. He sneaks into Matthew's hospital room and administers the drugs anyway, but they don't save the boy's life. Morrell (First Blood) tells of his family's fear and hurt; of his misapprehension of God's purpose; and of supernatural experiencesfireflies, that signify souls, appear to Morrell; one of them is Matthew, who speaks to his father; a dove trapped in the mausoleum at Matthew's funeral allows Morrell to set it free. A painful book to read; the son's courageand the father's anguishjump from the emotionally charged pages. But in terms of style, the comparison that comes to mind is not the dense introspection of, say, James Agee's A Death in the Family , but rather the melodramatic treatment of Eric Segal's Love Story . 50,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Dutton Adult, 1988. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0525246800
Book Description Dutton Adult, 1988. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110525246800
Book Description Dutton Adult, 1988. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0525246800