Descripción de editorial
In this enthralling and sometimes harrowing memoir, the acclaimed author of The Promise of Light gives us a masterly companion to such classics as Brideshead Revisited and A Separate Peace.
At the age of seven, Paul Watkins was roughly transplanted from his home in Rhode Island to England's Dragon School. He was greeted by a delegation of bullies who, in time, would become his friends and whose rules would become his own. For at Dragon, and later at Eton, "there was no middle ground. You could not go here and come out not caring one way or the other. You had to stand before your God and commit."
Here are the masters who paddle boys for small infractions and then offer them sweets; the seniors who pamper pretty favorites and subject all others to humiliating servitude; the deep friendships and sudden, devastating betrayals. Above all, here is the exhilaration of a boy discovering own capacities for learning and creativity, in a book that conveys with astonishing insight the pangs of growing up.
``I grew up in jolts, from one suddenly realized thing to another,'' writes Watkins, whose first novel, Night Over Day Over Night , was nominated for the Booker Prize. In this first nonfiction work, he applies his generous, fully controlled prose to an examination of his not-so-distant boyhood and the sources of his calling. American-born of Welsh ancestry, Watkins was sent at the age of seven to the Dragon School, an English boarding school, where he would prepare for his later entrance to Eton. His moving, unsentimental narrative captures his responses to being separated from his family and thrust into another country and, simultaneously, his feelings of becoming an alien in his own land, which he visited on vacations. Recollections of loneliness and schoolboy cruelties blend with memories of his Rhode Island home, time spent with his family and his awareness that his father was dying. Yet Watkins credits the rigors of English schooling with prompting him to ``chisel out an hour here and there . . . setting sail in the great full-sail schooner of my dreams.''