Synopses & Reviews
Skipper, an ex-World War II naval Lieutenant and the narrator of , interweaves past and present--what he refers to as his "naked history"--in a series of episodes that tell the story of a volatile life marked by pitiful losses, as well as a more elusive, overwhelming, joy. The past: the suicides of his father, wife and daughter, the murder of his son-in-law, a brutal rape, and subsequent mutiny at sea. The present: caring for his granddaughter on a "northern" island where he works as an artificial inseminator of cows, and attempts to reclaim the innocence with which he faced the tragedies of his earlier life. Combining unflinching descriptions of suffering with his sense of beauty, Hawkes is a master of nimble and sensuous prose who makes the awful and mundane fantastic, and occasionally makes the fantastic surreal.
"John Hawkes is an extraordinary writer. I have always admired his books. They should be more widely read."'"Saul Bellow
"I felt right away, reading the first paragraph of , that I was in the presence of the qualities Nabokov considered the hallmarks of art: curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy." -- Jeffrey Eugenides
About the Author
John Hawkes (1925-1998) was one of the most innovative and widely regarded novelists of the twentieth century. Born in Stamford, Connecticut, and educated at Harvard University, Hawkes taught at Brown University for thirty years. Praised by Leslie Fiedler, Flannery O'Connor, and William H. Gass, who wrote, "when it comes to the engravement of the sentence . . . no one can match him," Hawkes was the author of numerous acclaimed novels, including The Lime Twig, The Beetle Leg, Second Skin, Adventures in the Alaskan Skin Trade and The Passion Artist.