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Telling Time

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As a college president, Thomas Westerly, 72, was a paragon of virtue, a crusader for everything from civil rights to ecology. Now, as he lies dying surrounded by his children, he asks them to go through his papers and destroy anything deemed embarrassing. The children are stunned by the request. But as they leaf through his diaries and records, they discover scandals, neuroses and deviance, leaving them to ask just how well we know the people that we love...

From Publishers Weekly

02 October 1995 – Always in control, despite the proliferating points of view he manipulates, Wright (After Gregory) has assembled an intricate mosaic of a novel marked by the relentless stripping away of its characters' self-delusional armor. It begins when former geologist and Midwestern university president Thomas Westerly, age 72, having retired to a New England island, suffers a stroke while attempting to calm Sam Truro, a crazed bank teller who has taken his own wife and children hostage inside his home. As Thomas lays dying, his five adult children--along with their assorted offspring and relatives--descend on the island, precipitating a tense family reunion that unfolds kaleidoscopically through dialogues, letters, diary entries and interior monologues. From his hospital bed, Thomas instructs his oldest son, Philip, to go through his private papers and destroy anything he deems embarrassing. Philip, who has always viewed his father as a paragon of virtue, is astonished to find that Sam Truro is a figure from his father's past. Another family skeleton involves guilt-ridden Thomas's central role in a hit-and-run accident. The gathered Westerly clan brims with personal secrets, too. The Westerly sons cope with their ambivalence toward a father they perceive as demanding, prejudiced and insensitive, although, as college president, he championed civil rights, free expression and other liberal causes. Wright packs this novel with dazzling formal gambits, including letters to God, do-lists and university memos. In the process, he not only creates a detailed portrait of a family but also raises profound questions about how a life is to be measured.
Telling Time
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  • £4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Crime & Thrillers
  • Published: 01 December 2016
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books
  • Print Length: 334 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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