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Helen ; and, the girls : two novellas

Author: Hollis Summers
Publisher: Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, ©1992.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The late Hollis Summers was a widely admired writer of fiction, and these two novellas, unpublished at his death, make abundantly clear the reasons for that admiration."--BOOK JACKET. "Helen is the narrative of Ben Adams, self-styled "Victorian" and "aging Catcher in the Rye," who has retreated to his lakeside cabin to write his way back through his "monogrammed life," seen refracted through a few short days that  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Hollis Summers
ISBN: 0807117579 9780807117576
OCLC Number: 25163852
Description: 195 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: Helen --
The girls.
Other Titles: Helen.
Girls.
Helen
Responsibility: by Hollis Summers.

Abstract:

"The late Hollis Summers was a widely admired writer of fiction, and these two novellas, unpublished at his death, make abundantly clear the reasons for that admiration."--BOOK JACKET. "Helen is the narrative of Ben Adams, self-styled "Victorian" and "aging Catcher in the Rye," who has retreated to his lakeside cabin to write his way back through his "monogrammed life," seen refracted through a few short days that have changed it forever. Life, he has learned, does not stretch neatly from event to event but "crisscrosses and dovetails and goes back as much as forward.""--BOOK JACKET. "And so it does in this moving, aphoristic chronicle of Ben's journey with the eponymous Helen - his wife Anita's longtime friend - to the resort town of Cape May, New Jersey. The journey ends in unexpected passion and a kind of blessing, and it is this very blessing that prompts Ben to tell the story, to confess, to expiate "the guilt of being blessed.""--BOOK JACKET. "Ben Adams, Anita, Helen - in Summers' hands these characters make up a life, one rendered utterly convincing with the subtlest of brushstrokes: a shadow, a rain-streaked windshield, the color of a woman's hair. In Helen, as in a painting by Vermeer, the mystery of existence manifests itself in the most ordinary of moments."--BOOK JACKET. "The Girls is narrated by Archie Lee Baxter, a seemingly settled, contented bookstore owner just entering his sixties. On the surface the story is simple: Archie and his wife, Anna, must move temporarily from a small town in Kentucky to Houston, where "the girls," Archie's mother and his aunt Gloria, have been injured in an auto accident. But in Houston the dislocated couple must confront a family - and a world - rapidly changing beyond recognition. They must also face the infinite complexity of their love for each other, their own mortality, and the frailty of their aging loved ones - a frailty not without its moments of humor."--BOOK JACKET. "Spare, laconic, ringing with nuance, touching without a trace of sentimentality, these novellas are masterpieces, and rare will be the reader who remains unmoved by their moments of quiet wisdom. Each of us "lives in compartments"; each of us "walks a tightrope between sanity and desperation"; each of us faces the possibility that, indeed, "desperation is a kind of sanity." Through Summers' haunting evocations of hidden sorrows, small decencies, and the sudden transforming power of love, both Helen and The Girls emerge as modern parables, as explorations of the ties that bind us to lovers, family, and life itself - and as affirmations of the grace and dignity of middle-class lives."--BOOK JACKET.

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Linked Data


Primary Entity

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   schema:reviewBody ""The late Hollis Summers was a widely admired writer of fiction, and these two novellas, unpublished at his death, make abundantly clear the reasons for that admiration."--BOOK JACKET. "Helen is the narrative of Ben Adams, self-styled "Victorian" and "aging Catcher in the Rye," who has retreated to his lakeside cabin to write his way back through his "monogrammed life," seen refracted through a few short days that have changed it forever. Life, he has learned, does not stretch neatly from event to event but "crisscrosses and dovetails and goes back as much as forward.""--BOOK JACKET. "And so it does in this moving, aphoristic chronicle of Ben's journey with the eponymous Helen - his wife Anita's longtime friend - to the resort town of Cape May, New Jersey. The journey ends in unexpected passion and a kind of blessing, and it is this very blessing that prompts Ben to tell the story, to confess, to expiate "the guilt of being blessed.""--BOOK JACKET. "Ben Adams, Anita, Helen - in Summers' hands these characters make up a life, one rendered utterly convincing with the subtlest of brushstrokes: a shadow, a rain-streaked windshield, the color of a woman's hair. In Helen, as in a painting by Vermeer, the mystery of existence manifests itself in the most ordinary of moments."--BOOK JACKET. "The Girls is narrated by Archie Lee Baxter, a seemingly settled, contented bookstore owner just entering his sixties. On the surface the story is simple: Archie and his wife, Anna, must move temporarily from a small town in Kentucky to Houston, where "the girls," Archie's mother and his aunt Gloria, have been injured in an auto accident. But in Houston the dislocated couple must confront a family - and a world - rapidly changing beyond recognition. They must also face the infinite complexity of their love for each other, their own mortality, and the frailty of their aging loved ones - a frailty not without its moments of humor."--BOOK JACKET. "Spare, laconic, ringing with nuance, touching without a trace of sentimentality, these novellas are masterpieces, and rare will be the reader who remains unmoved by their moments of quiet wisdom. Each of us "lives in compartments"; each of us "walks a tightrope between sanity and desperation"; each of us faces the possibility that, indeed, "desperation is a kind of sanity." Through Summers' haunting evocations of hidden sorrows, small decencies, and the sudden transforming power of love, both Helen and The Girls emerge as modern parables, as explorations of the ties that bind us to lovers, family, and life itself - and as affirmations of the grace and dignity of middle-class lives."--BOOK JACKET." ;
    .


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