Paul West My Father's War: A Memoir

ISBN 13: 9780929701752

My Father's War: A Memoir

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9780929701752: My Father's War: A Memoir
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Eight years ago acclaimed novelist Paul West presented a warmly received memoir of his mother, My Mother's Music. Revisiting the scene now, Paul West delivers in his 40th book an equally remarkable memoir of his father, a half-blinded, shell-shocked veteran of three years of trench warfare during 'The War to End All Wars.' But the time recounted mostly occupies 1939 to 1945, while ten-year-old Paul grows to fifteen. Together, father and son play war games, guarding the English coast from foxholes under the kitchen table, or watching as real Nazi bombers on moonlit nights pass overhead. The father, meanwhile, is forever instructing the son in the details of his own experience. The two have much in common, though distantly, and the boy Paul slowly learns to understand and even second-guess his father, though the compulsions that possess the war veteran remain a mystery that separates their generations—a conundrum of what the son wishes his still-damaged father could be, and those expectations no father can ever quite live up to. In this engaging memoir, Paul West recreates his own youth, and gives us in twenty-five chiseled chapters a view of two lives evoking the deep effects of war, and conveying the distance between those who survive its devastations, and those who must bear its consequence.

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About the Author:

British by birth, American for 30 years now, Mr. West has authored an array of imaginative novels -- including Rat Man of Paris, Lord Byron's Doctor, The Place in Flowers Where Pollen Rests, The Tent of Orange Mist -- along with such non-fiction works as A Stroke of Genius and Words for a Deaf Daughter. His reviews appear regularly in the pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post. He lives in Ithaca, NY, travels widely giving talks and readings, was one of the fiction judges of the 1990 National Book Award, and is the recipient of many prizes and awards.

From Publishers Weekly:

Novelist West follows up his well-received My Mother's Music with this intimate memoir of his war-scarred father. West focuses on his own early teenage years in Britain during WWII, when his father's experience as a WWI machine-gunner loomed large in West's imagination. Sight impaired and sporadically employed because of a war wound, West's father seemed set apart from the family, with his ordeal in the trenches making him detached and giving him an almost bemused perspective on civilian life's vicissitudes. It is through those everyday details that West approaches this enigmatic figure, through a rambling accretion of mundane but vividly rendered scenes of his father smoking, eating breakfast, watching a soccer match or playing war with his son underneath the kitchen table. Eventually, West comes to appreciate his father's quiet heroism. Writing in an intensely personal, at times bafflingly hermetic language, West teases out a tender, wryly funny portrait of his father and of the ravages and legacies of war.
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Book Description McPherson & Co Publishers,U.S., United States, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Eight years ago acclaimed novelist Paul West presented a warmly received memoir of his mother, My Mother's Music. Revisiting the scene now, Paul West delivers in his 40th book an equally remarkable memoir of his father, a half-blinded, shell-shocked veteran of three years of trench warfare during "The War to End All Wars." But the time recounted mostly occupies 1939 to 1945, while ten-year-old Paul grows to fifteen. Together, father and son play war games, guarding the English coast from foxholes under the kitchen table, or watching as real Nazi bombers on moonlit nights pass overhead. The father, meanwhile, is forever instructing the son in the details of his own experience. In this engaging memoir, Paul West recreates his own youth, and gives us in twenty-five chiseled chapters a view of two lives evoking the deep effects of war, and conveying the distance between those who survive its devastation, and those who must bear its consequence. Seller Inventory # AAO9780929701752

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Book Description McPherson & Co Publishers,U.S., United States, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Eight years ago acclaimed novelist Paul West presented a warmly received memoir of his mother, My Mother's Music. Revisiting the scene now, Paul West delivers in his 40th book an equally remarkable memoir of his father, a half-blinded, shell-shocked veteran of three years of trench warfare during "The War to End All Wars." But the time recounted mostly occupies 1939 to 1945, while ten-year-old Paul grows to fifteen. Together, father and son play war games, guarding the English coast from foxholes under the kitchen table, or watching as real Nazi bombers on moonlit nights pass overhead. The father, meanwhile, is forever instructing the son in the details of his own experience. In this engaging memoir, Paul West recreates his own youth, and gives us in twenty-five chiseled chapters a view of two lives evoking the deep effects of war, and conveying the distance between those who survive its devastation, and those who must bear its consequence. Seller Inventory # AAO9780929701752

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