Second Skin (Paperback)

Author: Hawkes, John

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Product Overview

"John Hawkes is an extraordinary writer. I have always admired his books. They should be more widely read." Saul Bellow


Publisher W W Norton & Co Inc
Mfg Part# 9780811216449
SKU 31282359
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0811216446
Release Date 4/10/2007
Dimensions (in Inches) 7.75H x 5L x 0.75T
Author Info
John Hawkes
His family moved from Connecticut's "Gold Coast" to Alaska when John Hawkes was 10 years old. He began to write novels at Harvard, publishing his first one at 23. After working at Harvard University Press, he became a teacher at various colleges, including Harvard and Brown, where he received an M.A. His novel "Second Skin" won the National Book Award in 1964. Hawkes's fiction is relentlessly experimental; he writes blackly comic works in which, nevertheless, he insists that his "ultimate aim and moral purpose" is "compassion for every living thing."
"...a work of gifted maturity; it has been achieved, so far as appears, by the classically direct principle of developing one's artistic perceptions in accord with one's artistic nature, and letting the labels, along with the advertisements, fall where they may....Fortunately, Mr. Hawkes's narrator is possessed of Mr. Hawkes's prose style; his speech bubbles and purls in long streams of looped syntax and frothy image, it focusses and unfocusses as if equipped with a zoom lens. It is that rare thing, an artistically imaginative style...consciously alive and vibrant...."
"Hawkes is one of the half-dozen authors of first rank in America today. In Second Skin he has written a beautiful book."
"Everything Hawkes has written expresses his almost unbearable awareness of the strangeness of life, and if his work is sometimes mystifying, if he refuses to fit all the pieces of the puzzle into place, that is because he feels so strongly the disorderliness of existence."
From the Publisher
Annotation A metafictional narrative of a sailor's life. Papa Cue Ball (or "Skipper") came from a violent family (his father, wife, and daughter all committed suicide) and spent most of his life at sea. Now he lives in retirement on a tropical island and spends most of his time reflecting on the strangeness of his own life.
Editors Note Skipper, an ex-World War II naval Lieutenant and the narrator of Second Skin, interweaves past and presentwhat he refers to as his "naked history"in a series of episodes that tell the story of a volatile life marked by pitiful losses, as well as a more elusive, overwhelming, joy. The past: the suicides of his father, wife and daughter, the murder of his son-in-law, a brutal rape, and subsequent mutiny at sea. The present: caring for his granddaughter on a "northern" island where he works as an artificial inseminator of cows, and attempts to reclaim the innocence with which he faced the tragedies of his earlier life. Combining unflinching descriptions of suffering with his sense of beauty, Hawkes is a master of nimble and sensuous prose who makes the awful and mundane fantastic, and occasionally makes the fantastic surreal.
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0210
Publisher New Directions Publishing Corporation
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