“May it never go out of print again”: An old man returns to his now-submerged Pennsylvania hometown in this National Book Award–winning classic (The Philadelphia Inquirer).
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Light in the Forest and The Awakening Land plumbs his own past to deliver a powerful novel of memory, family, forgiveness, and redemption.
Nearing the end of his life, world-renowned novelist John Donner makes a final pilgrimage back to a childhood home that no longer exists. The coal mining community of Unionville, PA, now sits at the bottom of a lake created by a new hydroelectric dam on the Kronos River. The realization that his family’s history has been completely washed away in the name of progress leaves Donner profoundly shaken.
But following an odd encounter on a familiar road, John finds himself inexplicably transported back to Unionville on the eve of his grandfather’s funeral. Suddenly he’s surrounded by the people he loved, feared, and ultimately fled, including his elusive mother, his troubled father—and his younger self. A stranger to them all, John will have to once more find his place among them before his long journey can finally come to an end.
Inspired by the author’s personal history, The Waters of Kronos is considered by many to be Conrad Richter’s masterpiece. Lyrical, poignant, dreamlike, and beautifully wrought, it is a classic work of twentieth-century American literature.
“An enchanted book. It reminds us anew of the magic which the printed page may hold, what we thought in a more innocent time as the spell and transport which the craftsmen of words may create.” —New York Herald Tribune
“Writers as various as Marcel Proust, Thomas Wolfe, and James Thurber separately discovered that ‘you can’t go home again.’ In The Waters of Kronos, novelist Conrad Richter adds an extra dimension to this truism.” —Time