This hasn't quite the jagged impact of Elliott's Listen to the Silence (1969) which took place in an institution after he...

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PIECES OF NIGHT: A Novel of Childhood

This hasn't quite the jagged impact of Elliott's Listen to the Silence (1969) which took place in an institution after he had altogether lost his leasehold on reality. Shuttling back and forth (sometimes one questions the assist of time which encourages memories and facilitates insights) these pieces, more and more dissociated, go back to the first years when his mother took care of him, infrequently, while visitors came and left, seen here and there wrapped in sheets. Before long he was handed over to one relative or another, for a while to his father and his ""new mother"" who took him west, finally to foster parents (""He's not human, not anything we ever talked about. . . ""). On a more literal level he remembers -- lying in wet beds, making endless lists, collecting flies and beetles to pull them apart, wheezing asthmatically, jerking off. . . . Cumulatively, overwhelmingly, he is aware of the fusion and fission of all these pieces of night where he is shying at shadows and ""people talking in my mind"" and filling in the spaces -- the spaces between being alone and afraid and abandoned. Perhaps not really a novel -- but a sad story of nobody's boy nowhere.

Pub Date: July 19, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1973