The Short History of a Prince
By Jane Hamilton
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780385479486, 368pp.)
Publication Date: March 16, 1999
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Walter McCloud is a boy with dreams unlike most. Introduced as a child to the genius of Balanchine and the lyricism of Tchaikovsky, Walter has always aspired to be a dancer. As he grows older, it becomes clear that despite his desire, he lacks the talent, and he faces the painful knowledge that his more gifted friends have already surpassed him.
Soon, however, that pain is overshadowed when his older brother, Daniel, finds a strange lump on his neck and Walter realizes that a happy family can change overnight. The year that follows transforms the McClouds, as they try to hold together in the face of the fearful consequences of Daniel's illness, and Walter makes discoveries about himself and his friendships that will change him forever.
Decades later, after Walter has left home and returned, he must come to terms with the memories of that year, and grapple once and for all with the challenge of carving out a place for himself in this all-too-familiar world.
A moving story of the torments of sexuality and the redemptive power of family and friendship, The Short History of a Prince confirms Jane Hamilton's place as a preeminent novelist of our time.
Jane Hamilton lives, works, and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin. Her short stories have appeared in Harper's magazine. Her first novel, The Book of Ruth, won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel and was a selection of the Oprah Book Club. Her second novel, A Map of the World, was an international bestseller.
"Irresistible...As [Hamilton] evokes the powerful grip of love, both young and mature, cruel and ecstatic, she reaffirms life."--People"Subtle, moving, and utterly convincing."--Newsweek"Lovely in its appreciation of the resilience of family--Hamilton's plainsong to American endurance still lifts the heart."--Entertainment Weekly"With intelligence and empathy--and drawing on rich veins of irony--Hamilton tells the story of Walter's search to define his talents--at once surprising and redemptive."--The New York Times Book Review"Hamilton's third novel and arguably her best, for it matches its range of emotion with a technical precision both masterful and haunting--Hamilton has eased time and memory throughout her novel with the expert abandon of a dancer in full pirouette."--Boston Globe"[Hamilton] can make real life riveting--There can be no better recommendation for a novelist."--Denver Post