Light While There Is Light: An American History
Author: Keith Waldrop
Introduction: Jaimy Gordon
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press (2013)
One of the unheralded masterpieces of twentieth-century American fiction, Light While There Is Light is acclaimed poet Keith Waldrop's autobiographical novel about the myriad ghosts left behind by his family. Born to a deeply religious mother, the narrator and his siblings are led across the US as she searches for the "right" religious sect—a trip that ends with her speaking in tongues, and finally her total isolation. But no synopsis can do justice to the beauty of Keith Waldrop's measured, wise, and unembroidered prose, illuminating the fear, madness, and destruction within hearth and home—though never repudiating his love for same. In a tradition that stretches back through Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner to Hawthorne, Melville, and Poe, Keith Waldrop and Light While There Is Light are American treasures.