Synopses & Reviews
Joe Allston is a retired literary agent who is, in his own words, "just killing time until time gets around to killing me." His parents and his only son are long dead, leaving him with neither ancestors nor descendants, tradition nor ties. His job, trafficking the talent of others, had not been his choice. He passes through life as a spectator.
A postcard from a friend causes Allston to return to the journals of a trip he had taken years before, a journey to his mother's birthplace, where he'd sought a link with the past. The memories of that trip, both grotesque and poignant, move through layers of time and meaning, and reveal that Joe Allston isn't quite spectator enough.
"Elegant and entertaining . . . Every scene [is] adroitly staged and each effect precisely acomplished." The Atlantic
Joe Allston is a retired literary agent whose parents and only son are dead, and who feels that he has been a mere spectator through life. Than a postcard from a friend causes him to return to the journals of a trip he took to his mother's birthplace to search for his roots; memories of that journey reveal tha t he is not quite spectator enough. Winner of the National Book Award.