Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ke-Ma)

Maxwell, William

fiction event short

(US, 1908–2000)

Maxwell is one of the best proponents of the kind of taut, careful story-telling that American fiction has made its own in the second half of the twentieth century. Often set in his native Illinois, his fiction manages to convey a very real sense of emotion, more often than not a kind of quiet melancholy. Start with his short novel, So Long, See You Tomorrow (1980). The narrator describes his attempts to piece together his memories of a event in his childhood fifty years ago, an event that changed his life (a neighbourhood murder, and its effects on his friendship with the murderer's son). Then move on to his short stories (collected in All the Days and Nights, published in 1994); they are without exception precise and controlled, yet they are also infinitely more human and moving than the purplest, most gushing prose of any of his contemporaries.

Raymond Carver, David Guterson, Richard Ford  DHa

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