Goyen's fifth novel is a fable of sexuality, Texas country life in the first half of the twentieth century, religious revivalism, and the money madness and ecological destruction caused by the oil boom. The narrative is composed of the brief linked episodes and tales that are Goyen's trademark, and is written with an ear for the rhythms of regional speech that was his particular gift.
"Mr. Goyen has the poet's consideration for the exact word, and he has a great sense of laughter." --The New Yorker
"A profound sympathy combined with a great poetic insight constitute Mr. Goyen's wonderful rare gift." --Stephen Spender
William Goyen (1915-1983) was one of America's most innovative writers of fiction. Born in a small town in East Texas, his roots and early years stuck with him through his writing. He served on an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific during WWII where he began the writing of his debut novel, The House of Breath. He published five novels, four story collections, five plays, two works of non-fiction and a collection of poetry.