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The Pilgrim Hawk: A Love Story by Glenway…
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The Pilgrim Hawk: A Love Story (1940)

by Glenway Wescott

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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367747,271 (3.66)35
This powerful short novel describes the events of a single afternoon. Alwyn Tower, an American expatriate and sometime novelist, is staying with a friend outside of Paris, when a well-heeled, itinerant Irish couple drops in-with Lucy, their trained hawk, a restless, sullen, disturbingly totemic presence. Lunch is prepared, drink ?ows. A masquerade, at once harrowing and farcical, begins.A work of classical elegance and concision, The Pilgrim Hawk stands with Faulkner?s The Bear as one of the ?nest American short novels- a beautifully crafted story that is also a poignant evocation of the implacable power of love.… (more)

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» See also 35 mentions

English (5)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 5 of 5
I read this book on a whim and recommendation from 'Lost Classics: Writers on Books Loved and Lost', where Jeffrey Eugenides wrote beautifully about 'The Pilgrim Hawk' and Glenway Wescott.

There was something in the blurb about Wescott that struck a chord in me. I read 'The Pilgrim Hawk', looked up what I could about his life, and have been seeking out his other books ever since.

'The Pilgrim Hawk' is a slim novella that covers a single afternoon in France in the late twenties. I've always read it in almost a single sitting, but it is so artfully crafted, and so much can be read into the actions of the small 'cast' of characters, that one wonders how Wescott kept the book so short.

Reading this again now has only confirmed my memory of it, and my admiration of its author, a talented man who after 1945 for some reason never published fiction again, despite living another forty years.

I will not go into more of the plot, I simply recommend this book to any who are curious and have a quiet afternoon to spend. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Brief, elegant, edgy, and profound, I found myself enraptured by this little gem. I was quickly taken in by the narrator's voice, and while not much happens, there is an incredible tension in all this not-happening. A masterpiece of restrained narration. ( )
  MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
A quiet masterpiece; a single afternoon, drinks, conversation, scandal, and a hawk. Maugham admired Wescott's prose, and reading this you can see why.

My YouTube review is here: https://youtu.be/XCZyivmZ07k ( )
1 vote soylentgreen23 | Jul 3, 2016 |
Regarded by a longstanding cult audience as a minor masterpiece, it is hard to come to this book objectively. I think without the reputation I would not have made it beyond the first few pages of this very short novella because the style is so mannered: short sentences, often broken into little clausal fragments - paragraphs frequently concluding with elaborately conceived apothegms. Wescott's narrator is staying with a female friend at her French country house. They are visited by a somewhat eccentric Irish couple, the female half of which takes a hunting hawk everywhere she goes. Tensions develop, there is some byplay among the three servants. The hawk causes a disruption. That is all. But it is observed so carefully and described so exquisitely that one becomes drawn in and fascinated. Michael Cunningham's introduction to this edition is helpful. ( )
  sjnorquist | Jan 18, 2014 |
Some of the writing was well-done, but I didn't find the plot all that interesting. The contrast between the action and the philosophizing was also quite abrupt, and I especially didn't care for the latter. I was rather disappointed with this book. ( )
  digitalmaven | Mar 10, 2010 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Glenway Wescottprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cunningham, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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NYRB Classics

2 editions of this book were published by NYRB Classics.

Editions: 0940322560, 1590174577

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