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Billie Dyer and Other Stories (Mint First Edition)

William Maxwell

42 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679408320 / ISBN 13: 9780679408321
Published by Knopf, 1992
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Dan Pope Books
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About this Item

Knopf (New York), 1992. First Edition. First printing. Hardbound. New in dust jacket. A tight unread copy. Bookseller Inventory # 2802

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Billie Dyer and Other Stories (Mint First ...

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: 1992

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition...

About this title


Revives characters from the author's youth in Lincoln, Illinois, in the early 1900s in seven stories featuring a successful black surgeon, a sexy elementary school teacher, a rebellious young child, and others. 12,500 first printing.

From Kirkus Reviews:

From a writer whose career has now spanned almost 60 years comes a volume of breathtakingly perfected and lovely stories that have most of the past century for their grazing land. Maxwell's first fiction since the novel So Long, See You Tomorrow (American Book Award, 1980). Nothing that Maxwell touches upon in these far-back reminiscences is ever bruised or forced as the author, again and again, patiently and delicately draws forth moments of recognition and quiet epiphany from the distant past. ``Billie Dyer'' is the historian-author's tale of a black man from a poor family in turn- of-the-century Lincoln, Illinois, who went on to become an influential medical doctor. Himself born in Lincoln in 1908, Maxwell can devote four pages to the death of a beloved fifth-grade teacher (``Love'') without the faintest whisper of sentimentality, and in another five pages find a life's-worth of self-recognition in a simple childhood moment of moral failure (``With Reference to an Incident at a Bridge''). Longer pieces roam into their material and bring alive the daily life of a lost century, as in a story of a ne'er-do-well uncle (``The Man in the Moon''); through subtle biographies of townspeople told on the occasion of a death (``My Father's Friends''); in a study of race, class, and family history (``The Front and the Back Parts of the House''); or in the passionately quiet tale of a brother losing a leg in a childhood accident (``The Holy Terror''). ``As the details unfolded before my mind,'' writes Maxwell at one point, ``I went on putting them down, trusting that there was a story and that I would eventually find it.'' He finds it again and again, with delicacy, intelligence, and piercing beauty, in fiction that draws stories forth from the reality of life instead of imposing them on it. Treasurable small masterworks of American literature. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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