Curator Reviews

Joyce Maynard

Published in 1948, this deceptively quiet, exquisitely subtle novel follows the story of a lawyer and his pregnant wife who allow a group of difficult houseguests to move in with them for what proves to be an increasingly challenging visit that nearly destroys their marriage. For many years an editor at The New Yorker, William Maxwell may have been best known for applying his skills to the fiction of others. I have always wondered why his work—real, true, generous and wise—is not better known.  What he creates here is a portrait of a small town in Illinois shortly before the first World War that captures a moment in time, long past.

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