Waiting for Nothing, and Other Writings

Tom Kromer, Author, Arthur D. Casciato, Editor, James L. W. West, III, Photographer University of Georgia Press $24 (297p) ISBN 978-0-8203-0797-8
A vagrant during the worst years of the Great Depression, Kromer here depicts with intense realism the lives of the era's utterly disenfranchised. In his episodic, autobiographical novel about ""life on the vag,'' the protagonist rides the boxcars from one end of the country to the other in search of ``three hots and a flop.'' Usually he finds what he needs in sordid charity missions, abandoned buildings, dumps, and at one point he barters with a homosexual for food and shelter in exchange for sexual favors. Although Kromer's tone is restrained, his spare portrayals of the era and its people are affecting: ``When I look at these stiffs by the fire, I am looking at a graveyard. There is hardly room to move between the tombstones. . . . The epitaphs are chiseled in sunken shadows on their cheeks.'' The unfinished novel also included in the collection, Michael Kohler, is similar in tone to the one discussed here. In this book as well are Kromer's fragmentary, impressionistic shorter works. Most of these pieces have never been published before. (March)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Paperback - 312 pages - 978-0-8203-0798-5
Open Ebook - 312 pages - 978-0-8203-4236-8
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