As the elderly hero of Thomas Rayfiel’s daring new novel, In Pinelight, sits in an old folks home responding to the questions of an unseen interrogator, the fragments he supplies form the portrait of a man’s life in upstate New York. Losses, loves, destructive family relationships, sexual entanglements, and moments of mystical awareness filter through the seeming minutiae of small-town gossip to confront the reader with their cumulative power.
In Pinelight stirs the emotions both by its formal virtuosity and by the precision with which the narrator is able to reveal human psychology. Rayfiel seeks to capture the essence of historical forces and to illuminate the inescapable truths we would rather not see.
About the Author
Thomas Rayfiel is the author of five previous novels, including Time Among the Dead and The Eve Trilogy (Colony Girl, Eve in the City, and Parallel Play). He lives in Brooklyn.
"In Pinelight is a warm, earnest, moving, and at times feverishly beautiful book...Those who sit down with this one will be richly rewarded." —Bookforum
“An eloquent exploration of life seen through an aging man's eyes.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED
“[A] brilliant portrayal of small-town life…. The reader quickly gets immersed in this quaint place…. Ruminations on greed, love, the meaning of life and death, friendship, religion, and even crime are explored in this poignant tale that is reminiscent of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, or, even better, Dylan Thomas's Under Milkwood….delightful and entertaining.” —Library Journal, STARRED
"Everything and nothing is meaningful in a way that makes one man’s life, and his account of it, the sole repository of significance. And to turn that idea into language is Rayfiel’s extraordinary gift." —Star Tribune