In settings that range from small town Illinois to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, these stories are distinguished by Maxwell's inimitable wisdom and kindness, his sense of the small details that make up a life, the nuances of joy and sadness that change its direction. Whether describing the reunion of two brothers who will never agree, the furniture of the apartment that becomes everything to a childless couple, the search for the perfect French meal or the life of a ne'er-do-well uncle, Maxwell's stories capture responses that are recognisable in us all.
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William Maxwell's tales, long and short, have the elusive ability to reveal us to ourselves - The Times
However different their settings the sensibility remains constant. It is decorous, highly civilised and deeply thoughtful - Observer
All of them share the effect of a brilliant view - as though a window were opened on a contained and vivid scene...There is a rare clarity and economy here - along with that wise measured humanity - Spectator
The stories are formidable...we know we are in the presence of a master craftsman - Sydney Morning Herald
Maxwell's triumph is to bring brightness and a seething, submerged emotion to an America long dead... he offers us scrupulously executed, moving landscapes of American's twentieth century, and they do not fade - Times Literary Supplement
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.