Title: The Old Left
Author: Menaker, Daniel
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, New York
Publication Date: 1987
Edition: First Edition
Book Condition: F
D-j Condition: VG
Comments: D-j is mildly chipped. Top corner of front board bumped.
Synopsis: Five of these eight stories first appeared in the New Yorker; the title story won the O. Henry Prize. Each is an episode in the life of Davey Leonard, a young journalism teacher who appeared earlier in Friends and Relations (1976), a previous book of stories. One story flashes back to a time when 18-year-old Davey took an assignment as a sort of industrial spy, making the locals suspicious. But most of the stories, set in New York City and the Berkshire Mountains, show him settling in as husband and father, monitoring the lingering death of his crotchety but beloved uncle, an aged leftist with a rich, strong-willed personality. Throughout, Davey’s strong love for the old man’s struggles comes up against generation and communication gaps and the competing needs of wife and infant son. The narratives are simple and involving, clear and touching.