The decision to invite his Southern relatives to stay proves a fateful one for Austin King. By the time they leave, his reputation and his marriage have suffered irreparable damage. Against the perfectly-drawn background of small-town Illinois at the turn of the 20th century, Maxwell once again uncovers the seeds of potential tragedy at the heart of a happily-established family.
William Maxwell (1908-2000) was born in Illinois. 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 40 years, he helped to shape the prose and careers of John Updike, John Cheever, John O'Hara, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Eudora Welty. His novel, So Long Tomorrow won the American Book Award, and in 1995 he received the PEN/Malamud Award.