From his experiences as a naval officer in battles off Okinawa during World War II, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. He soon inhabits a world where marriages fail as affairs ignite, alcohol reigns, writers struggle, and publishers hustle. It is a world in which to immerse himself, a world of intimate ...
From his experiences as a naval officer in battles off Okinawa during World War II, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. He soon inhabits a world where marriages fail as affairs ignite, alcohol reigns, writers struggle, and publishers hustle. It is a world in which to immerse himself, a world of intimate connections and surprising triumphs. But the deal that Philip cannot seem to close is love: one marriage goes bad; another fails to happen; and, finally, he meets a woman who enthrals, then betrays him, setting him on a course he could never have imagined for himself. Written with Salter's signature economy of prose, All That Is fiercely, fluidly explores a life unfolding in a world on the brink of change: a dazzling, sometimes devastating labyrinth of love and ambition, of the small shocks and grand pleasures of being alive. All That Is is a sweeping, seductive love story set in post-World War II America that tells of one man's great passions and regrets over the course of his lifetime and draws together the great themes of Salter's writing: warfare, love, sex and marriage, and what it means to write.
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Publishers Weekly, 2013-02-04 The 87-year-old PEN/Faulkner Award-winner's (Dusk and Other Stories) first full-length novel in more than three decades spans some 40 years and follows the accidental life, career, and loves of book editor Philip Bowman. After serving in the Pacific during WWII, Bowman stumbles into publishing at a time when small houses reigned. During extravagant literary parties and travels through Europe, Bowman shares his thoughts on authors both real and imagined. And yet his career is merely a vehicle for his loves and losses, connections made and missed. The women in his life somehow never suit and his many endings are always inexplicable to him. But Salter renders the first blushes of Bowman's loves exquisitely-their giddiness, occasional illicitness, eroticism-and his bewilderment after the relationships fail feels achingly real. By way of counterpoint, the author illustrates the happy but tragic marriage of a close friend, which parallels rather than intersects, since Bowman fails to connect with anyone. The number of characters who parade through the book can frustrate, and Salter's choice to render, for a chapter, a well-known character anonymously was unnecessary. But Salter measures his words carefully, occasionally punctuating his elegant prose with sharp, erotic punches. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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