Love and War in California
By Oakley Hall
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312357627, 288pp.)
Publication Date: April 17, 2007
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The Sweeping Novel of a Twentieth-Century California Life
Love and War in California tells the story, through the eyes of Payton Daltrey, of the last sixty years of an evolving America.
The award-winning author Oakley Hall begins his newest work in 1940s San Diego, where his endearing, wide-eyed narrator must define his identity in terms of self, family, and World War II. As his classmates disappear into the war one by one, he becomes obsessed with abuses of power and embroiled with the charming, dangerous Errol Flynn; with the Red Baiting of the American Legion; with the House Un-American Activities Committee; and with the Japanese interment at Manzanar. Nevertheless, Payton, too, must go to the war, where he is a part of the invasion of Europe and that proving of the American soldier: the Battle of the Bulge. After war's end and time in New York, he returns to California as a writer and a seeker, whose old, long-lost love rises from the ashes to show him who he really is.
Hall has been called a "master craftsman" (Amy Tan) with "one of the finest prose styles around" (Michael Chabon), and he has received the PEN Center USA West Award of Honor and the P&W Writers for Writers Award. Coming on the heels of Hall's San Francisco Chronicle bestseller (a reissue of his classic Western, Warlock), Love and War in California is more than a novel about a young boy who grows old. It's about how the passions of youth become the verities of age, and how we evolve as a nation, a country, and a people during times that are all at once turbulent, dangerous, and stirring.
OAKLEY HALL served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II and has an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. For twenty years he was the director of the Programs in Writing at the University of California at Irvine and is the founder and general director emeritus of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Hall has published twelve mysteries, fourteen mainstream novels, two books on writing, and the New York Times bestseller The Corpus of Joe Bailey, and his novels Warlock and The Downhill Racers were both made into major motion pictures.
"Eminently enjoyable for its splendid detail."--Publishers Weekly
"When I read the first ten pages of Love and War in California, I had that heady sense of falling in love. My amazement grew as I read long into the night. Everything about this book sings to me. Oakley Hall evokes the story of a young man's soul and that of his town and his country in a time of great change and uncertainty. It is both intimate and universal, graceful and exuberant. It reflects on human desire and belonging, the complexities of honesty and loyalty, truth and fairness, the unraveling of ideas and passion, and the emergence of something greater. Hall accomplishes this with compassion, honesty, and the occasional wink. This is a book for our times, a book that will surely stand out as an enduring masterpiece of American literature."--AMY TAN
"Love and War in California is classic American story-telling, in the manner of James Jones and the Norman Mailer we first loved. It is made for a reader who wants to sit down with a book, stay up all night and not quit until the end."--RICHARD FORD
"Oakley Hall's Love and War in California is in so many ways a culmination, a fulfillment, a peak: of Hall's artistry, of his lifelong exploration of the recurring motifs and topography and mythology of the American west, and of the great post-Chandler novel itself, that epic romance of disillusion and of promise betrayed, of which Hall is, as this book proves, our greatest living master."--MICHAEL CHABON