Wright Morris: The Works of Love

works

The latest addition to my website is Wright MorrisThe Works of Love. Morris is very much an underrated writer . This is a first-class novel, which does not get the recognition it deserves. It tells the story of Will Brady, from the time his father first sought a wife till Will’s death many years later. Will’s father dies when he is only four months old and he is brought up by his mother. When she dies, when he is a young man at working as an assistant stationmaster, he leaves Indian Bow and travels to Calloway. Stepping off the train, he is almost immediately offered a job as night clerk at the local hotel. When the owner dies three years later, he takes over and marries the widow. His next business opportunity also falls into his lap the same way. However, Will finds it difficult to communicate. He has a succession of relationships but they are invariably both initiated and ended by the woman. He drifts through life, though a hard worker, unable to find his place and unable to work out who he is. He even brings up a boy, a boy he did not father, and struggles with that. Morris tells Will’s story very well, showing us a man who prefers the company of wackos and who knows how to give but not how to receive.

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2 Comments

  1. Patrick Murtha

    I am glad to see the attention you are paying to Wright Morris. He is one of my favorite novelists and I wrote my senior essay in the American Studies major at Yale on him, in the 1979-1980 academic year. His body of work very muchs repays the effort to read it in full, because each book enlarges the others.

    • tmn

      Thanks for your comments. I shall get round to more Morris works in the next few weeks. I am glad that he is still admired.

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