DescriptionA moving tale about middle age, divorce, modern love, and returning home by one of the great American storytellers. Asher's career as a Hollywood screenwriter has come to a humiliating end; so has his latest marriage. Returning to New York, where he grew up, he takes a room at a hotel and wonders what, well into middle age as he is, he should do next. It's not a question of money; it's a question of purpose, maybe of pride. In the company of the arch young poet Michael, Asher revisits the streets and tenements of the Lower East Side where he spent his childhood, though little remains of the past. Michael introduces Asher to Aurora, perhaps his girlfriend, who, to Asher's surprise, seems bent on pursuing him, too. Soon the older man and his edgy young companions are caught up in a slow, strange, almost ritualized dance of deceit and desire. The End of Me, a successor to Hayes's In Love and My Face for the World to See, can be seen as the final panel of a triptych in which Alfred Hayes anatomizes, with a cool precision and laconic lyricism that are all his own, the failure of modern love. The last scene is the starkest of all.
New York Review of Books
June 09, 2020
5.0 X 0.6 X 8.0 inches | 0.45 pounds
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About the Author
Alfred Hayes (1911-1985) was a journalist, poet, screenwriter, and novelist. Having served in Italy during World War II, he stayed on to co-write several classic Italian neorealist films, including Roberto Rossellini's Paisà and Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves, as well as to gather material for two celebrated novels, All Thy Conquests and The Girl on the Via Flamina. In the late 1940s he went to work in Hollywood for Warner Brothers, RKO, and Twentieth Century Fox, where his screenplays included Clash by Night, The Left Hand of God, and Joy in the Morning. Hayes's novels In Love and My Face for the World to See are also available from NYRB Classics. Paul Bailey's novels include At The Jerusalem, which won the Somerset Maugham award, and Peter Smart's Confessions and Gabriel's Lament, both shortlisted for the Booker prize. He is the author of biographies of Quentin Crisp and Cynthia Payne.