The Story Of A Million Years (Paperback)

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The acclaimed poet and story writer David Huddle weaves a masterly portrait of two couples and their shared histories, desires, and secrets. Marcy, Allen, Uta, Jimmy -- each becomes the hero of his or her own story, as all mine the past for evidence of goodness.
David Huddle moves with remarkable agility from the imagination of a precocious adolescent girl, to the fears of a man in midlife, to the longings of a wife whose reserve cloaks aching depths. Each of these convincing voices asks the questions central to all our lives: What stories are so important that you'd never reveal them to another person in a million years? How do secrets come to define us, for better or for worse? Honest, accomplished, and wonderfully subtle, THE STORY OF A MILLION YEARS portrays the basic human desire to love and be loved unconditionally.

About the Author

David Huddle’s fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in Esquire, Harper’s Magazine, Story, the New York Times Magazine, and The Best American Short Stories. Among his books of short fiction are Tenorman, Intimates, and Only the Little Bone. He is the recipient of two NEA fellowships.

Praise For…

"The Story of a Million Years filled my heart with crazy agitation-- so many memorable scenes, so perfectly balanced a story. How Huddle orchestrates such complex emotions and powerful incidents of young-adulthood is knock-you-over proof of his genius. He's such a splendid writer-- this novel rewards you in the utmost pleasing, disturbing, and yes, perhaps mysterious ways." -- Howard Norman, author of THE BIRD ARTIST and THE MUSEUM GUARD

"David Huddle's first novel is masterful and often stunning, so carefully written that the words shimmer with purpose and necessity. Essentially the tale of two couples who have known each other since they were all teenagers, The Story of a Million Years follows Marcy and Allen, Uta and Jimmy as they try to keep going through storms of nostalgia, grief, manic lust. The foursome have been together so long that they all know the same songs. Sometimes Uta dreams about Allen, and Jimmy has long been convinced he loves Marcy, but as time moves on, these hushed-up desires become smooth and polished, like stones. Moving back and forth through and instances, Huddle brilliantly captures the sense of marriage as a system of secrets, in which certain memories and infidelities are held close like shields, talismans that protect the self from being subsumed altogether by the structures we build around love, the houses we build to contain our impulses. Like someone playing a song over and over again at different speeds, the author recapitulates key moments until they break apart. For Uta one such moment happens when she's in college, lost in Manhattan after her friends ditch her, wandering back to their apartment at dawn. She doesn't push the buzzer to wake her flaky friends. Instead she sleeps in the front hallway in a Uta's attachment to this moment is beautifully rendered in her down-to-earth, Lutheran-raised, sad-hearted voice. She remembers vividly "the crazy little bit of goodness that came into me in the front hall when I was standing there all by myself with my finger about to press the doorbell, when I knew I was safe, and when I decided not to disturb the sleepers. That was the closest I'll ever come to knowing what it feels like to be one of the really decent saints, like Saint Francis, or Saint Teresa of Lisieux. It was the only time I've ever had that feeling..." -- Emily White —

Product Details
ISBN: 9780618082339
ISBN-10: 0618082336
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: September 15th, 2000
Pages: 208
Language: English