My Father's War
A MemoirBook - 2005 | 1st ed.
The appearance of Paul West's memoir of his mother, My Mother's Music, led a legion of readers to anticipate a companion volume about his father. Paul West now obliges not only with an enthraling remembrance of the blinded, shell-shocked survivor of three years of trench warfare during "The War to End All Wars"-but also with an exploration of the legacy the warrior-father imparts to his willing yet unsuspecting son. The time recounted is 1939 to 1945, when ten-year-old Paul grows into prime adolescence. Together, father and son play war games, guarding the English coast from foxholes under the kitchen table, or watching on moonlit nights as real Nazi bombers pass overhead. All the while, Alfred Massick West instructs young Paul in his agonies and glories of twenty years before. The two have much in common, though distantly, and Paul slowly learns to understand and even second-guess his father, although the compulsions that grip the war veteran largely remain a mystery separating their generations-a conundrum of what the son wishes his still-damaged father could be, bound up with expectations no father can ever quite live up to. In this memoir Paul West retraces the lineaments of his youth, and leads us in twenty-five chiseled chapters on an odyssey of two lives which calculates the distance between those who survive war's devastation, and those who must bear its consequence. Book jacket.
Publisher: Kingston, N.Y. : McPherson & Co., c2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
Branch Call Number: 940.41241092 W519w
Characteristics: 187 p.