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They Came Like Swallows Cover © Amerikahaus München

"They Came Like Swallows" by William Maxwell

Wednesday, February 1, 2023, 6 p.m.

For some forty years, the novelist William Maxwell served as the short story editor at The New Yorker, where his mentoring nurtured the nascent careers of many writers, including Eudora Welty and John Updike. Set in a small midwestern town, They Came Like Swallows depicts the bygone idylls and subsequent terrors experienced by an affluent family during the influenza pandemic of 1918.  Told through the artful narration of three characters, this short novel's lyricism and pathos are telltale marks of Maxwell's style.  Needless to say, our own collective reckoning with COVID-19 will add a decided poignancy to our discussion of the book.

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Photo: © Amerikahaus München

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