Good-bye, Son and Other Stories (Hardback)Janet Lewis (author)
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Good-bye, Son and Other Stories, Janet Lewis's only collection of short fiction, was first published in 1946, but remains as quietly haunting today as it was then. Set in small communities of the upper Midwest and northern California in the '30s and '40s, these midcentury gems focus on the quiet cycles connecting youth and age, despair and hope, life and death. A mother's encounters with her deceased son, an aging woman sitting with the new knowledge of her troubled older sister's death, and a teenager disillusioned by her own mortality are among the characters, mostly women and girls, whom Lewis delivers. Her understated style and knack for unadorned observation embed us with them as they reckon with the disquieting forces-incomprehensible and destructive to some, enlightening to others-that move us from birth, through life, to death. In the process, Lewis has crafted a paean to the living.
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 178 x 127 mm
"The collection may remind you of some of the quiet stories of Willa Cather."
"(Good-bye, Son, and Other Stories) is ... an unaccountably neglected book, a collection [that explores] the apprehension and experiencing of death, and the consolatory power inherent in understanding one's place and part in the natural cycle of birth, death, and rebirth."
"(Janet Lewis) is a striking example of a quiet talent working quietly through almost the entirety of a noisy, celebrity-heavy century." -- Larry McMurtry
"[Lewis] thrusts us into the essence of a situation, startling us out of the role of complacent observer and into that of active participant. This steady movement and these brief revelations work together to give the stories a collective meaning." -- Deanna L. Kern Ludwin
"Janet Lewis...has now written some very fine short stories, of which at least one (`Good-bye, Son,' the title story or novelette), I predict will live a long time, not only in memories, but in the anthologies of outstanding short prose in which it is bound to turn up. It is a story not easily classifiable among the different kinds of supernatural tales; it is, in essence, a story of divine guidance, and as such has nothing but the appearing of the dead in common with the usual `ghost story.'" -- L. T. Nicholl