Light While There Is Light: An American History (Paperback)
This autobiographical novel is held together by a family's complicated love and the ghosts that haunt them. Although the stories that Waldrop tells plague and bin many American families, this story is distinctly his, and is told with compassion and authenticity that only someone who has lived through it could render. Ultimately, it's a story about where we turn when faced with the threat of waking up one morning to emptiness: to family, to faith, and to words. Highly recommended.— Molly
One of the unheralded masterpieces of twentieth-century American fiction, Light While There Is Light is acclaimed poet Keith Waldrop's autobiographical novel about the myriad ghosts left behind by his family. Born to a deeply religious mother, the narrator and his siblings are led across the US as she searches for the right religious sect a trip that ends with her speaking in tongues, and finally her total isolation. But no synopsis can do justice to the beauty of Keith Waldrop's measured, wise, and unembroidered prose, illuminating the fear, madness, and destruction within hearth and home though never repudiating his love for same. In a tradition that stretches back through Flannery O Connor and William Faulkner to Hawthorne, Melville, and Poe, Keith Waldrop and Light While There Is Light are American treasures.