Thursday, June 08, 2017

Charles Simmons (1924-2017)

The novelist Charles Simmons has died. I have fond memories of two of his books (there were several others I never got around to): the fairly conventional coming-of-age novel Salt Water and a brilliant little tour-de-force entitled Wrinkles, which narrated the outlines of a man's life (someone presumably much like Simmons himself) through a series of brief thematic chapters, each of which began in the present tense with the man's childhood and gradually shifted to the present and finally the future tense with the man's final years. A few of its concerns now seem dated, but the book's approach and Simmons's assured prose have stuck with me. I'll read it again one of these days. The Neglected Books Page has an excerpt and an appreciation.

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