Image Not Available


Howard, Maureen.

ISBN 10: 0393034054 / ISBN 13: 9780393034059
Published by NY: NORTON. 1992, 1992
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From WAVERLEY BOOKS ABAA (Santa Monica, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since May 2, 1998

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 45.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 8.00 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

SIGNED by Maureen Howard on the title page. Fine in dj.; Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 19056

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details


Publisher: NY: NORTON. 1992

Publication Date: 1992

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


When a society tramp murders a soldier near the end of World War II, Connecticut detective Billy Bray investigates, not knowing that the case will have reverberations for the next two generations of his family

From Publishers Weekly:

A compelling tour de force, Howard's ( Expensive Habits ) latest novel shows this immensely talented writer at her inventive best. Her glance keen and her hand sure, Howard depicts the Irish Catholic Bray family: county detective Billy Bray, his gentility-obsessed wife Nell, their son, reckless and charming James, and their daughter, pious and pudgy Catherine. Howard gives their lives solidity and depth against the background of her own hometown, Bridgeport, Conn., a city so accurately and specifically rendered that readers with a map could pinpoint every reference to streets, restaurants, stores, churches and movie theaters; social nuances are revealed with equal clarity. The fuguelike first section traces the movements of each of the Brays on one Saturday during WW II, when James breezes through a clarinet lesson, Cath is humiliated at a Girl Scout jamboree, Nell strives to achieve family harmony and Billy becomes involved in a sensational murder case in which a society woman shoots a soldier home on leave. Echoes of James Joyce become more resonant in the novel's middle section, where Howard switches to a cinematic, elliptical narrative device as James, now an actor of middling success, returns to Bridgeport to make a movie about that notorious murder, but spinster Cath intends to foil his plan by revealing a family secret. As counterpoint to this deliberately fragmented narrative, on alternate (facing) pages, is a long, loosely constructed series of vignettes that encapsulate Bridgeport's history and decline, along with tart comments about the novel's characters (who include a nun turned social worker, a vulgar movie producer and James's valiant wife, an ex-rodeo queen). The section reproduces newspaper clippings about the Park City's famous sons (P. T. Barnum, Walt Kelley, Robert Mitchum); quotations from the likes of Freud, Lewis Mumford and William James; literary allusions slipped in without pretension; and 30 photos and line drawings. It is a kind of intellectual doodling--idiosyncratic and whimsical. Howard tells readers that they have "no obligation" to read the insert; "when it is unamusing, just go on . . . with the story." Howard's vigorous prose--at once earthy and sophisticated--is a graceful, arresting mix of metaphor and demotic idiom, ironic humor and glistening images, all employed in astute observation of her cultural and intellectual world. If the cinematic format and the flip, clipped narration tend to hold the reader at an emotional remove, the work is made buoyant by the larky digression, yet effectively anchored by the traditionally narrated sections. In form and substance, this powerful novel places Howard squarely among the outstanding practitioners of late-20th-century fiction. 35,000 first printing; major ad promo; author tour. (Nov.) .
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Mail order operation conducted at home.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

Telephone:(310)393-4593 Our address: Waverley Books, 948 9th St., Santa Monica, CA 90403 POSTAGE FOR FIRST BOOK $8.50, EACH ADDITIONAL BOOK

Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order PayPal