When I dream about Lincoln, it is always the way it was in my childhood …
In a special audio recording commissioned by 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center, John Lithgow reads William Maxwell’s So Long, See You Tomorrow, a luminous American classic of youth and loss.
“I got hold of the novel when it first came out and read it aloud to my wife as we drove across the country, and it has remained my favorite book,” said Lithgow. “It’s just this intensely moving memory piece. It’s a novel told by an old man, and he tells the story of the dissolution of two farms and two families.”
A celebrated New Yorker editor and fiction writer, William Maxwell published So Long, See You Tomorrow in 1980, at the age of 72, and it is widely hailed as his masterpiece. It opens on a winter morning in the 1920s. A shot rings out on a farm in rural Illinois, and the friendship between two boys is shattered.
“This is one of the great books of our age,” wrote Michael Ondaatje. “It is the subtlest of miniatures that contains our deepest sorrows and truths and love—all caught in a clear, simple style in perfect brushstrokes.”
The recording, which runs four hours and 30 minutes, is made available with the permission of the William Maxwell Estate and will be accessible for three months.
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