A Century of November by W. D. Wetherell

By W. D. Wetherell

Winner of the 2004 Michigan Literary Fiction Award for novelA haunting tale of the ability of loss of life, the discomfort of loss, and the potential for hope."Gripping, damning, and transfixing."---Entertainment Weekly" . . . possesses a time-bending gravity. . . . [A] small vintage of swish language and earned emotion."---San Francisco Chronicle". . . a superbly written novel of battle and the wrenching grief and unanswerable questions it leaves in its wake. . . . A Century of November is stuffed with distinctive, startling imagery and chic, richly poetic description---Wetherell turns out really incapable of writing a lazy sentence---and this final element of the unconventional is as surreal, hypnotic and harrowing as any literature in fresh reminiscence. the whole lot, in reality, is a jewel, an unforgettable historic novel that Wetherell has conscientiously (and artfully) seeded with a great deal of modern resonance." ---Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)"A poignant, probing tale. . . . Wetherell's prose and personality writing are unflinching . . . [and his] tackle a parent's discomfort is deeply moving."---Publishers Weekly "A well timed reminder of the devastation of mortal wrestle. . . ."---Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Even the ships seemed to act as walls. They were warehouse-sized, the convoy ships, and the only thing that differentiated them from the other buildings was that their sides were rustier, in more need of repair, as if they had been nib­ bled and snapped at by the Atlantic. Their guns, half hidden by tarpaulins, looked thinner than saw logs and not nearly as dangerous. The crowds swarmed so thickly in front of the pas­ senger terminals that Mounties rode along the edges keeping everyone in line.

Gulls hovered over the wreckage, dipped, soared-a raven slanted down, like a stubby black pointer showing where to look. The dead had long since been buried, of course. What the scene suggested was that mourning, deep mourning, was still so intense no JO one could bear to do anything with the ruins but leave them exposed to whatever healing power came down from the sun. He was used to considering death as something that happened to one person at a time, and now here, four thousand miles from the front line, was evidence of a different style of death, death all together, death en masse, and he realized that whatever else hap­ pened during his journey he would have to change his calculations, brutalize his calculations, accordingly.

Commercial travelers this morning at break­ fast, smoking, laughing loudly over smutty jokes. Walked to the cathedral alongside the Avon, feeling I should make the effort. A funeral in progress. Four funerals, the coffins draped in Union Jacks, the mourn­ ers all in black. I went no further. The landlady was helpful in putting me on the right track-a tram out to Cantwell Farm on the edge of the Canadian camp. A long walk still ahead of me, but a farmer came along with a cart full of milk cans going in the same direction.

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