So Long, See You Tomorrow (Anglais) Broché – 19 décembre 1997
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Revue de presse
"A truly extraordinary novel... Maxwell has tapped a vein of strange, pure emotion" (Philip Hensher Mail on Sunday)
"So magically deft at being profound...possesses that daunting quality impossible to emulate: it makes greatness seem simple" (Richard Ford)
"Maxwell does something all great novelists do: he conjures depths of pain and regret in words of radiant simplicity" (Anthony Quinn Observer)
"This calm, reflective and extraordinarily beautiful novel offers American fiction at its finest" (Irish Times)
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Same for the book on the whole: a straight-forward and concise record of a painful childhood + a convincing and sympathetic account of what could have happened in the tragic murder/suicide that took place in the book. In the pages depicting Maxwell's childhood, you see images of the child agonizing over the death of his mother, the loss of a normal childhood, the bitterness against his father and a mixture of all these unresolved feelings which the grown up narrator narrates with great immediacy. The pictures are particularly heart-breaking as the writing is very subdued - everything is described for what it is and the author, while expressing his feelings directly, simply state what he feels without exaggeration. It is the kind of autobiographical writing that makes you understand why one writes autobiography and why all of us grieve over certain things that we think we've let go, or constantly hope we'll let go: some things will always be there, down deep, once they happen.
The fictional account of the murder/tragedy echoes Maxwell's story: how everyone has a heart and a right to their feelings; how we all get trapped in situations we cant control and break someone's heart or gets heart-broken. In a way, writing this story seems to be a way of coming to terms with things for Maxwell- to get over the bitterness against things gone wrong by understanding the complexities and inevitability of some situations. One striking thing about this piece of writing is that it's highly dialogic: like in the universe in Anna Karenina, everyone in this fictional world has a right to be understood. There's a reason why someone becomes the person s/he's become and why s/he's done what s/he's done. Even the most unsympathetic story (on the surface) has his story that may be sadder than everyone else's.
In the end it's an extremely well-written work - a very good example for students of creative writing in particular. The last thing I'll say about this book is its title. A line from the dialogue in the book itself, it symbolizes that line between childhood and adolescence/adulthood (when one's forced to drastically grow up in an extreme circumstance). One crosses this line and enters the world of traumatic loss, in which we have no choice but to accept and endure pain. As wound souls we forever look back at that other carefree world with nostaglia - a brilliant title and immensely geniune emotions.