How Paula Fox dealt with her childhood. - From The New Yorker
In the last paragraph of the novel, Peter remembers a spring morning when he was twelve years old, when he’d awakened in his bed by the window and seen, freshly fallen, the last thin snow of the year, heard, below in the kitchen, the voices of his mother and his sisters as they went about making breakfast, known the cat and dog had been let out because he saw their paw marks braiding the snow, and felt that that day, he only wanted to be good.
Not only the new book but also the late novels, “A Servant’s Tale” (1984) and “The God of Nightmares,” sag.
Ruina!” my grandfather, Isidro Sanchez, had scrawled at the end of his farewell note to my grandmother, which, she recounted, in a voice still astonished after all the passing years, he had written only an arm’s length from where she sat mending a tear in the shirt he was to wear the next morning when he had been summoned to see Antonio de la Cueva, the proprietor of the sugar plantation of Malagita, to answer, among other serious questions, why he had not fulfilled his cane quota and therefore could not guarantee his rent for the coming year.
In the title story of “News from the World,” which is set in a seaside village, a frail old man and his much younger housekeeper fall in love.
In 1991, the novelist Jonathan Franzen was at Yaddo, the artists’ colony in upstate New York, thinking about American fiction, specifically the competing claims of postmodernism (which he had been practicing up to that time) and traditional storytelling fiction (to which he soon converted, in “The Corrections”).