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They Came Like Swallows (Panther S.)

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9781860469282: They Came Like Swallows (Panther S.)
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Elizabeth Morison is an ordinary woman. Yet to eight-year-old Bunny, his mother is the centre of his universe. To his older brother, Robert, she is someone he must protect against the dangers of the outside world. And to James Morison, his wife is the foundation on which his family rests and life without her is unimaginable.

William Maxwell's unique and moving family portrait confirms his reputation as one of the twentieth century's finest novelists.

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Review:

In the Morison house the important goes unsaid and indirection is the operative mode--conversation stops where it should start and key terms such as fear, pain and pregnancy fail to be addressed. The younger son, an eight-year-old, passes his days deciphering adults' inaccessible discussions. "In this fashion they communicated with each other, out of knowledge and experience inaccessible to Bunny. By nods and silences. By a tired curve of his mother's mouth. By his father's measuring glance over the top of his spectacles". Bunny's older brother would rather escape to the outside world, and their father finds declaiming the day's headlines--the end of World War I and the onslaught of Spanish Influenza--far preferable to engagement. Only Elizabeth, their mother, is capable of holding the family together. The fifth main character in They Came Like Swallows is the house itself. Maxwell expresses the boys' reactions through this labile, interior landscape. Bunny finds the dining room can be "braced and ready for excitement"; later his brother realises "for the first time how still the house was, how full of waiting ... tense and expectant". Though war never makes it to Illinois, the flu changes all. First Bunny is stricken, and once he recovers Elizabeth, pregnant, dies from it. In quiet, piercing prose, William Maxwell's second novel, originally published in 1937, evokes the greatest of losses and the terrors of imagination. --Amazon.com

Review:

"There aren't many truly great writers... William Maxwell is one of them" (The Times)

"A story of such engaging warmth that it will melt many a reader to tears" (Time Magazine)

"Very delightful" (V.S. Pritchett)

"Rare...exquisite...a cameo-like perfection" (New York Herald Tribune)

"A lovely, heartbreaking book" (New York Sun)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679772576: They Came Like Swallows (Vintage International)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 067977257X ISBN 13: 9780679772576
Publisher: Pantheon Books Inc, 1997
Softcover

9780679602477: They Came Like Swallows (Modern Library)

Modern..., 1997
Hardcover

9780879236779: They Came Like Swallows (Nonpareil Book)

David ..., 1994
Softcover

9781860468131: They Came Like Swallows

Harvil..., 2000
Softcover

9780099448679: They Came Like Swallows

Vintage
Hardcover

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Discover William Maxwell's classic, heart-breaking portrait of an ordinary American family struck by the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic'A story of such engaging warmth that it would thaw the heart of any critic. Will melt many a reader to tears' TIMEElizabeth Morison is an ordinary woman. Yet, to eight-year-old Bunny, his mother is the centre of his universe. To Robert, her elder son, she is someone he must protect against the dangers of the outside world. And to her husband, James, she is the foundation on which his family rests and life without her is unimaginable. As the dark winter of 1918 dawns and the shadow of Spanish flu starts to disturb day-to-day life, a moving portrait of Elizabeth takes shape, set against the lives and fate of the Morison family. 'As you read They Came Like Swallows, you catch yourself from time to time being astonished at how tightly you're gripping the pages. There isn't a word that has dated. It could have been written yesterday, or tomorrow' Nicholas Lezard, Guardian. Seller Inventory # AAZ9781860469282

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. In this tender evocation of family life - an early work by the great American novelist and editor who died in 2000 - the unvoiced currents of love and need that run through all our lives are eloquently measured. To eight-year old Bunny Morison his mother is an angelic comforter in whose absence nothing seems quite real or alive. To his older brother, Robert, his mother is someone he must protect, especially since the deadly influenza epidemic of 1918 is ravaging their small Mid-western town. To James Morison, his wife Elizabeth is the centre of a life that would crumble all too suddenly were she to disappear. Through their eyes, Maxwell paints a portrait of an American family and the woman who is its emotional pillar, deftly rendering the civilities and constraints of a vanished era. Elizabeth Morison is an ordinary woman. And to James Morison, his wife is the foundation on which his family rests and life without her is unimaginable. William Maxwell's unique and moving family portrait confirms his reputation as one of the twentieth century's finest novelists. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9781860469282

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Discover William Maxwell's classic, heart-breaking portrait of an ordinary American family struck by the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic'A story of such engaging warmth that it would thaw the heart of any critic. Will melt many a reader to tears' TIMEElizabeth Morison is an ordinary woman. Yet, to eight-year-old Bunny, his mother is the centre of his universe. To Robert, her elder son, she is someone he must protect against the dangers of the outside world. And to her husband, James, she is the foundation on which his family rests and life without her is unimaginable. As the dark winter of 1918 dawns and the shadow of Spanish flu starts to disturb day-to-day life, a moving portrait of Elizabeth takes shape, set against the lives and fate of the Morison family. 'As you read They Came Like Swallows, you catch yourself from time to time being astonished at how tightly you're gripping the pages. There isn't a word that has dated. It could have been written yesterday, or tomorrow' Nicholas Lezard, Guardian. Seller Inventory # FOY9781860469282

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Book Description Condition: New. 2001. New Ed. Paperback. Elizabeth Morison is an ordinary woman. Yet to eight-year-old Bunny, his mother is the centre of his universe. To his older brother, Robert, she is someone he must protect against the dangers of the outside world. And to James Morison, his wife is the foundation on which his family rests and life without her is unimaginable. Num Pages: 160 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 202 x 151 x 12. Weight in Grams: 158. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9781860469282

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