So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell

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In this magically evocative novel, William Maxwell explores the enigmatic gravity of the past, which compels us to keep explaining it even as it makes liars out of us every time we try. On a winter morning in the 1920s, a shot rings out on a farm in rural Illinois. A man named Lloyd Wilson has been killed. And the tenuous friendship between two lonely teenagers—one privileged yet neglected, the other a troubled farm boy—has been shattered.Fifty years later, one of those boys—now a grown man—tries to reconstruct the events that led up to the murder. In doing so, he is inevitably drawn back to his lost friend Cletus, who has the misfortune of being the son of Wilson's killer and who in the months before witnessed things that Maxwell's narrator can only guess at. Out of memory and imagination, the surmises of children and the destructive passions of their parents, Maxwell creates a luminous American classic of youth and loss.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About William Maxwell

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William Maxwell teaches finance at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He has held professorships at the University of Arizona, Texas Tech, and Georgetown and has written numerous articles for academic journals. Maxwell his coauthor of "High-Yield Bonds." Mark Shenkman is President and Chief Investment Officer of Shenkman Capital Management, one of the world's largest high-yield money management firms. He has held executive-level positions focusing on the fixed income market at First Investors Asset Management, Lehman Brothers, and Fidelity. Shenkman is co-author of High-Yield Bonds.
Published April 27, 2011 by Vintage. 146 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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From a writer of modest output (since 1934) and major accomplishment: a well-nigh faultless, lacerating, and heartbreaking short novel.

Jan 07 1979 | Read Full Review of So Long, See You Tomorrow


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Author Craig Nova recommends three books that take a fresh approach to the age-old bildungsroman. The experience of growing up is both universal and unique — and, in these books, timeless.

Apr 20 2014 | Read Full Review of So Long, See You Tomorrow

Open Letters Monthly

The death of his mother in the 1918 influenza epidemic features prominently in the story, as does his father’s remarriage, the family’s move out of the old house in town where his mother died to a new one in a subdivision, and a subsequent move to Chicago when Maxwell was 14.

Jun 03 2010 | Read Full Review of So Long, See You Tomorrow

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