Death of a Man
Kay Boyle (Author)
DescriptionFrom Publishers Weekly Boyle's memorable novel, first published in 1936 and long out of print, and set in the Austrian town of Feldbruck from February to July of 1934, is at once a love story and a chilling political drama. Romance blooms between Prochaska, the resident doctor at the town hospital's ward for infectious diseases, and Pendennis, a young, married American tourist. The attraction between the two is immediate and potent, but as their involvement deepens, Pendennis becomes aware of Prochaska's work for the Nazi party, which many Feldbruck citizens cling to in the hope that it will rescue Austria from economic depression. The lovers' clash is as emphatic as their affinity; as spring wears on, Pendennis's antipathy grows, until she declares to Prochaska that "you take your orders, you swallow it all down along with your pride and your sense or whathaveyou! One day they're going to put a pretty little uniform on you . . . and say, 'Now you run along to war, dear, ' and won't that be a lot of fun?" The collapse of the affair seems as inevitable as the tragic, impending war. The novel is reprinted here with an introduction in which Burton Hatlen of the University of Maine elucidates why Boyle's sympathetic view of Prochaska does not signify support of fascism, and with a brief, illuminating afterword by Boyle.
New Directions Publishing Corporation
April 17, 1989
5.41 X 0.89 X 7.98 inches | 0.84 pounds
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About the Author
Kay Boyle (1902-1992) was a writer and political activist. She was twice awarded Guggenheim fellowships, won the O. Henry Award for best short story of the year in 1935 and again in 1941, held a number of honorary degrees, and occupied the Henry James chair of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1981, she was awarded a Senior Fellowship for Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts.
I think a novelist is obligated to depict things as they are, not as we might like. And that is why Kay Boyle did, in this book, with her usual skill and passion as a novelist and poet.--William Shirer