It is 1948 and a young American couple arrive in France for a holiday, full of anticipation and enthusiasm. But the countryside and people are war-battered, and their reception at the Chateau Beaumesnil is not all the open-hearted Americans could wish for.
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Delicious and dead-on... All the embarrassments and gratifications of European travel are preserved in the amber of Maxwell's much pondered, seemingly casual prose. - New Yorker
As the voices of Austen, Turgenev and Tolstoy have survived, so will Maxwell's. There aren't many truly great writers among us. William Maxwell is one of them - The Times
It's hard not to see it as a work of genius - Times Literary Supplement
His gentle urbanity is a joy - Sunday Telegraph
He combines educated intelligent and instinctive apprehension of human complexity in a way that would have earned Henry James' approval. William Maxwell is the very model of what a novelist should be - Independent on Sunday
Reading 'The Chateau' is like meeting a very old friend with whom the conversation is always spontaneous, intimate, restorative and unpredictable... Maxwell is that rare thing, a kind writer... But what has made him so influential is his habit of interspersing his subtle accounts of character with sharp observations about human nature. - Independent
The novel successfully depicts misunderstandings, isolation and disappointment: are they sensitive to local traditions? Are they laughing at the right jokes? Are they tipping too much? - Guardian
William Maxwell was born in Illinois in 1908. He was the author of a distinguished body of work: six novels, three short story collections, an autobiographical memoir and a collection of literary essays and reviews. A New Yorker editor for forty years, he helped to shape the prose and careers of John Updike, John Cheever, John O'Hara and Eudora Welty. So Long, See You Tomorrow won the American Book Award, and he received the PEN/Malamud Award. He died in New York in 2000.