Testing the Current

ISBN-10: 1590176022

ISBN-13: 9781590176023

Edition: 2012

Authors: D. T. Max, William McPherson

List price: $18.95
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Description:

Growing up in a small upper Midwest town in the late 1930s, young Tommy MacAllister is scarcely aware of the Depression, much less the rumblings of war in Europe. For his parents and their set, life seems to revolve around dinners and dancing at the country club, tennis dates and golf swings, lavish holiday parties and summers on the Island, so many sparkling occasions full of people and drinks and food and laughter. With his curiosity and impatience to grow up, however, Tommy will soon come to glimpse something darker beneath the genteel complacency: the embarrassment of poor relations; the subtle (and not so subtle) slighting of black or Native American servants, Jewish in-laws, and supporters of Roosevelt; the messy mechanics of sex and death; and “the commandment they talked least about in Sunday school,” adultery. In this remarkable 1984 debut novel, the Pulitzer Prize–winning book critic William McPherson subtly leavens his wide-eyed protagonist’s perspective with mature reflection and wry humor, and surrounds him with a sizable cast of vibrant characters, creating a scrupulously observed, kaleidoscopic portrait that will shimmer in readers’ minds long after the final page is turned.
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Book details

List price: $18.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: New York Review of Books, Incorporated, The
Publication date: 1/8/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

William Alexander McPherson was born in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan on March 16, 1933. He attended the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, but did not earn a degree. In 1958, he found work as a copy boy at The Washington Post. He later became a staff writer for the women's page and then travel editor. He left The Post to become a senior editor at William Morrow in 1966. He returned to The Post in 1969 and was put in charge of its Sunday book supplement, then called Book Week. When Book Week, jointly produced by The Post and The Chicago Tribune, ceased publication in 1972, he became the first editor of its successor, Book World, produced solely by The Post. He received the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism in 1977. He was the author of Testing the Current and To the Sargasso Sea. He moved to Romania for nearly seven years and filed reports for several publications including Granta and The Wilson Quarterly. He moved back to Washington and settled into a quiet life of occasional journalism, declining health, and dwindling finances. He died from complications of congestive heart failure and pneumonia on March 28, 2017 at the age of 84.

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