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A Year Remembered

Benjamin Taylor

A memoir of one tumultuous year of boyhood in Fort Worth, Texas, opening with a handshake with JFK, and recalling the changes and revelations of the months that followed.

After John F. Kennedy’s speech in front of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth on November 22, 1963, he was greeted by, among others, an 11-year-old Benjamin Taylor and his mother waiting to shake his hand. Only a few hours later, Taylor’s teacher called the class in from recess and, through tears, told them of the president’s assassination. From there Taylor traces a path through the next twelve months, recalling the tumult as he saw everything he had once considered stable begin to grow more complex.

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  • Penguin Books
  • Paperback
  • May 2017
  • 208 Pages
  • 9780143131649

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$16.00

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About Benjamin Taylor

Benjamin Taylor is the author of Proust: The Search, named a Best Book of 2016 by Thomas Mallon in The New York Times Book Review; Naples Declared: A Walk Around the Bay, named a Best Book of 2012 by Judith Thurman in The New Yorker; and of two award-winning novels, Tales Out of School and The Book of Getting Even. He edited Saul Bellow: Letters, named a Best Book of 2010 by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times and Jonathan Yardley in The Washington Post, along with Bellow’s There Is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction. A faculty member in The New School’s Graduate School of Writing, Taylor also teaches in the Graduate Writing Division of the School of the Arts at Columbia University. A past fellow and current trustee of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, he has also been elected president of the Edward F. Albee Foundation.

Author Website

Praise

“In this lyrical and brilliant memoir, Benjamin Taylor investigates his childhood with piercing clarity and unapologetic nostalgia.  His insights are wise, his sense of humor always in evidence, and his yearning for lost time exquisitely palpable.  Reading this book is like reading all of Proust in just under two hundred pages.  It is an utterly enchanting little masterpiece.” –Andrew Solomon 

“In this brief and moving memoir, Mr. Taylor chronicles the events of the following 12 months from the double viewpoint of a boy and of a middle-aged writer recollecting the past . . . Mr. Taylor writes bracingly of life in the early ’60s, a time at once light-hearted and filled with dread—of polio, race riots and Russian missiles . . . An elegantly written book, erudite, perceptive and at times painfully candid.”Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal

“In his keen focus on the 1963 death of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Benjamin Taylor returns to the morning of the assassination in his hometown of Fort Worth when he had the dazzling experience, as a schoolboy, of shaking the hand of the President, his hero.  This acute, intense memoir achieves the stature of national as well as personal elegy, a breathtaking accomplishment, classical and impassioned.   It belongs to the best American literature of idealism and loss, a profoundly eloquent reading of our mid-century history and its heartbroken legacy to this day.” –Patricia Hampl