Young Art and Old Hector

Neil Miller Gunn, Author Walker & Company $21.95 (255p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1177-9
Gunn, the late, prolific Scottish author ( Blood Hunt ), here recounts the entertaining tale of a cross-generational friendship. Eight-year-old Art is the youngest of six children in a turn-of-the-century Scottish family, and Old Hector, near 80, is the community sage. Drawing not only on his compassion and humor but on his command of Scottish folklore, Hector helps Art through the pains of growing up--the birth of a baby brother, being left out of his older siblings' adventures, the sudden departure of a much-adored older brother. And each is able to learn from the other. Art begins to mature and Hector, with his love of life and relaxed responsibilities, is living the second childhood of old age. With sensitivity and insight, Gunn captures the joys and pains of childhood and its ambivalences--wanting the world to remain small and safe while feeling anxious for the chance to explore it. The novel's lyrical dialogue enhances its heartwarming portrait of a particular time and place. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 377 pages - 978-1-84262-177-6
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