Forgetfulness (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
In the thirty-six years since he left a distinguished career as a journalist to become a full-time writer of fiction, Ward Just has published fifteen novels, three collections of stories and novellas, and a small volume containing a play and two more stories. The best of these booksincluding Forgetfulnessdeserve to be read by anyone who cares about fine writing or the power of the novel to help readers understand themselves and their time.
Readers who recognize Just’s name probably think of him as our premier fictional chronicler of Washington, D.C. While he is most certainly that, he is much more. Taken as a whole, his fiction presents a multigenerational portrait of well-to-do and well-connected Americans during the period between the New Deal and the present (although his portrait actually spans “the American Century” back as far as the 1890’s and always finds its touchstone in the 1960’s). In his pages readers see how individuals, the country, and its government have been shaped by our engagement in World War II, Korea, Cuba, Berlin, Africa, Latin America, Vietnam, and the Middle East. They find an America sharply defined by historical events such as the Cold War, Camelot and the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam debacle, Watergate, the fall of the Soviet Empire, and, in Forgetfulness, 9/11 and the War on Terror. This is an America undergoing profound changes in its social and political fabric, from the rise of the suburbs...
(The entire section is 1869 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2007)
The Atlantic Monthly, October, 2006, p. 127.
Booklist 102, no. 21 (July 1, 2006): 9.
Kirkus Reviews 74, no. 14 (July 15, 2006): 691.
Library Journal 131, no. 15 (September 15, 2006): 49.
The New York Times Book Review 156 (September 24, 2006): 13.
The New Yorker, September 18, 2006, p. 86.
Publishers Weekly 253, no. 29 (July 24, 2006): 32-33.
The Wall Street Journal 248, no. 59 (September 9, 2006): P8.
The Washington Post, September 3, 2006, p. BW5.
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