By W. D. Wetherell
Winner of the 2004 Michigan Literary Fiction Award for novelA haunting tale of the ability of dying, the discomfort of loss, and the opportunity of hope."Gripping, damning, and transfixing."---Entertainment Weekly" . . . possesses a time-bending gravity. . . . [A] small vintage of swish language and earned emotion."---San Francisco Chronicle". . . a superbly written novel of warfare and the wrenching grief and unanswerable questions it leaves in its wake. . . . A Century of November is filled with exact, startling imagery and stylish, richly poetic description---Wetherell turns out really incapable of writing a lazy sentence---and this final component to the unconventional is as surreal, hypnotic and harrowing as any literature in fresh reminiscence. the whole lot, actually, is a jewel, an unforgettable old novel that Wetherell has rigorously (and artfully) seeded with a great deal of modern resonance." ---Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)"A poignant, probing tale. . . . Wetherell's prose and personality writing are unflinching . . . [and his] tackle a parent's discomfort is deeply moving."---Publishers Weekly "A well timed reminder of the devastation of mortal strive against. . . ."---Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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His facial muscles, his very cheekbones, seemed to have slid down toward his chin, which was quivering. Whatever was stoic in him had been cut with a knife. Marden saw this so clearly, with such force, that it was impossible not to speak. "I' m sorry. " The man looked sharply up at him, seemed startled, then dumbly nodded up and down. " Marden asked. "Vimy Ridge," the man said, his voice barely above a whisper. "A sniper's bullet. Quick. " "H ow o ld�" . "Eighteen. " He stared past Marden's shoulder toward the window, severing the momentary connection between their eyes.
Three crescent lines of destruction could be traced in from the harbor toward the North End, forming an overlapping terrace where debris from one ring spilled across the next. Whole banks of earth had been torn away, so there were great parts of the city that looked as if they had been blasted back into granite, shorn of ornament, shaved. Nothing moved within all this, no one was attempt ing to clean anything away. The breeze carried an iodine smell in from the ocean, though it was quickly smoth ered by the boiling malt smell from the surviving brew eries.
The infamous explosion. The munitions ship, the Mount Blanc, that had exploded mid-channel after a collision. The biggest man-caused explosion in the his tory of the world. Rumors had raced west well ahead of the official denials, but now that it was no secret, a year in the past, he wanted to appraise the damage for him self. Once, working in the woods as a young man, he had come upon a section of forest where a meteorite had hit thirty years earlier when there were few white men on the coast.