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The Boy in His Winter

An American Novel

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“Make[s] Huck and Jim so real you expect to get messages from them on your iPhone.” —SCOTT SIMON, NPR Weekend Edition

“Brilliant. . . . The Boy in His Winter is a glorious meditation on justice, truth, loyalty, story, and the alchemical effects of love, a reminder of our capacity to be changed by the continuously evolving world ‘when it strikes fire against the mind's flint,’ and by profoundly moving novels like this.” —JANE CIABATTARI, NPR

Launched into existence by Mark Twain, Huck Finn and Jim have now been transported by Norman Lock through three vital, violent, and transformative centuries of American history. As time unfurls on the river’s banks, they witness decisive battles of the Civil War, the betrayal of Reconstruction’s promises to the freed slaves, the crushing of Native American nations, and the electrification of a continent. Huck, who finally comes of age when he’s washed up on shore during Hurricane Katrina, narrates the story as an older and wiser man in 2077, revealing our nation’s past, present, and future as Mark Twain could never have dreamed it.

The Boy in His Winter is a tour-de-force work of imagination, beauty, and courage that re-envisions a great American literary classic for our time.

Norman Lock, a recipient of the Aga Khan Prize from The Paris Review and a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, is the author of many works of fiction, including Love Among the Particles, a Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year. He lives in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Publishers Weekly Review

Feb 10, 2014 – Inspired by Mark Twain and propelled by the currents of the Mississippi River, this is a tall tale that Lock (Love Among the Particles) has abducted and handed over to Huck Finn. In Lock’s fantastical iteration, Huck and his old friend Jim set off from Hannibal, Mo., in 1835 and raft through the rest of the 19th century. Along the way they meet Tom Sawyer, grown up to become a Confederate soldier, view piles of Union dead, and help a Choctaw chief die with dignity. Jim is inconsolable when he hears John Wilkes Booth has shot Abe Lincoln. By the time they reach Baton Rouge, they’ve entered the 20th century, with horseless travel and the first motion pictures. The time travelers make their way through American history without aging a day, until Jim decides to leave the raft in 1960, sure that it is a good time to reenter the world. (Sadly, he seems to enter the world of To Kill a Mockingbird, fatefully breaking up a chiffarobe for Mayella Ewell.) Huck, still 13, almost makes it to New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina finally blows him from myth into real time. “I can feel my cells divide,” Huck says, reinventing himself as Albert Barthelemy and continuing his journey with a couple of smugglers and a black man who happens to be named James. Albert makes sure things turn out pretty well for himself as a grown man—he’s the author of his own destiny, after all—before he reveals that his beautiful black wife (whose name happens to be Jameson) has written an illustrated children’s book about the adventures of a boy named Albert, calling it A Boy in His Winter. Lock plays profound tricks, with language—his is crystalline and underline-worthy—and with time, the perfect metaphor for which is the mighty Mississippi itself.

Customer Reviews

Great Book

This is an incredibly well-written and totally engrossing book. The author has packed so much thoughtful material into what is a relatively short book. I would highly recommend it.

The Boy in His Winter
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Apr 28, 2014
  • Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 192 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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