Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rochester Gets A Mention In A New Novel

This is a passage from the latest James Salter novel, All That Is. Reminded me of F. Scott Fitzgerald's mention of Lockport in his novel, Tender Is The Night. Fitzgerald's family spent time in Buffalo when he was a child, but it sure does sound like Salter has visited the area. Then again, with the internet, maybe he just got enough from there. In any case, it made me feel like our corner of the world isn't so ignored after all.

“Beatrice had been born, the younger of two girls, in Rochester in the last year and month of the century, 1899. Their father was a teacher who died of the flu, the so-called Spanish flu that had first appeared in Spain and then broke out in America in the fall of 1918, just at the end of the war. More than half a million people died in scenes reminiscent of the plague. Her father had been stricken while walking down Clifford Avenue on a balmy afternoon, and two days later, face discolored, burning with fever and unable to breathe, he died. Afterwards they went to live with her grandparents, who ran a small hotel on Irondequoit Bay, a wooden hotel with a bar and a large, white kitchen and, during the winter, empty rooms.”

Empty rooms during winter? Not surprising.

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