By W. D. Wetherell
Winner of the 2004 Michigan Literary Fiction Award for novelA haunting tale of the facility of dying, the ache of loss, and the opportunity of hope."Gripping, damning, and transfixing."---Entertainment Weekly" . . . possesses a time-bending gravity. . . . [A] small vintage of sleek language and earned emotion."---San Francisco Chronicle". . . a superbly written novel of struggle and the wrenching grief and unanswerable questions it leaves in its wake. . . . A Century of November is filled with specified, startling imagery and chic, richly poetic description---Wetherell turns out certainly incapable of writing a lazy sentence---and this final component to the unconventional is as surreal, hypnotic and harrowing as any literature in fresh reminiscence. the whole lot, actually, is a jewel, an unforgettable historic novel that Wetherell has conscientiously (and artfully) seeded with a great deal of modern resonance." ---Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)"A poignant, probing tale. . . . Wetherell's prose and personality writing are unflinching . . . [and his] tackle a parent's agony is deeply moving."---Publishers Weekly "A well timed reminder of the devastation of mortal wrestle. . . ."---Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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The yr: 1936. Europe dances whereas an invidious dictator establishes himself in Portugal. town: Lisbon-gray, colorless, chimerical. Ricardo Reis, a physician and poet, has simply come domestic after 16 years in Brazil. Translated through Giovanni Pontiero.
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She was back out the door before he realized what it was-a key, a brass room key with a number engraved on the side. Only slowly did the warmth from her hand leave the metal. He clasped it in his palm, clasped it hard, but stood where he was for a long few minutes, his head tilted down in the posture of someone smoking a pipe. He needed those minutes to measure as precisely as he could the extent of his need, to remember this later, not j udge wrong. Her cabin was on the upper deck, which meant he had to walk outside to the companionway, giving him j ust enough time to see the brilliant dust of the stars, take their coolness on his face.
Marden saw this so clearly, with such force, that it was impossible not to speak. "I' m sorry. " The man looked sharply up at him, seemed startled, then dumbly nodded up and down. " Marden asked. "Vimy Ridge," the man said, his voice barely above a whisper. "A sniper's bullet. Quick. " "H ow o ld�" . "Eighteen. " He stared past Marden's shoulder toward the window, severing the momentary connection between their eyes. "Very quick. " The man raised his arm in a blocking motion, then hurried past Marden up the car.
The dead had long since been buried, of course. What the scene suggested was that mourning, deep mourning, was still so intense no JO one could bear to do anything with the ruins but leave them exposed to whatever healing power came down from the sun. He was used to considering death as something that happened to one person at a time, and now here, four thousand miles from the front line, was evidence of a different style of death, death all together, death en masse, and he realized that whatever else hap pened during his journey he would have to change his calculations, brutalize his calculations, accordingly.
A Century of November by W. D. Wetherell