Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 1991.
In these eleven stories, Allan Gurganus—author of the highly acclaimed Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All—gives heartbreaking and hilarious voice to the fears, desires and triumphs of a grand cast of Americans.
Here are war heroes bewildered by the complex negotiations of family life, former debutantes called upon to muster resources they never knew they had, vacationing senior citizens confronted by their own bravery, and married men brought up short by the marvelous possibilities of entirely different lives. Written with flair, wit, and deep humanity, this award-winning volume confirms Allan Gurganus as one of the finest writers of our time.
In Cape Town, South Africa, an old woman is dying of cancer. A classics professor, Mrs. Curren has been opposed to the lies and brutality of apartheid all her life, but has lived insulated from its true horrors. Now she is suddenly forced to come to terms with the iron-hearted rage that the system has wrought. In an extended letter addressed to her daughter, who has long since fled to America, Mrs. Curren recounts the strange events of her dying days. She witnesses the burning of a nearby black township and discovers the bullet-riddled body of her servant’s son. A teenage black activist hiding in her house is killed by security forces. And through it all, her only companion, the only person to whom she can confess her mounting anger and despair, is a homeless man, an alcoholic, who one day appears on her doorstep.
Brilliantly crafted and resonant with metaphor, Age of Iron is “a superbly realized novel whose truths cut to the bone.” (The New York Times Book Review)
A collection of stories, whose characters give voice to the vibrant and varied life on both sides of the Mexican border. The women in these stories offer tales of pure discovery, filled with moments of infinite and intimate wisdom.
Annie Ernaux’s mother has just died. She is the only child, so it is up to her to make the final arrangements. And it is up to her to remember the proud, vibrant, intense, and difficult woman who once was her mother before age and illness vanquished her. A poignant recollection of a mother’s life in France before and after the war, this woman’s story can only be known in part. Yet, in this case, that is enough.