PRAISE FOR THE ALMANAC BRANCH
“The Almanac Branch is a highly sophisticated novel...it shines with a mysterious and ingenious beauty.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Bradford Morrow’s new book is a joy. Beautifully constructed and flawlessly paced, its subtle unities, vivid prose, and riveting story yield the best and richest of literary pleasure.”
“The Almanac Branch is a riveting, superbly written, dark novel of familial intrigue.”
“The Almanac Branch is imaginative and quite often breathtaking; it is a dark novel of insight and mystery.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“A damned good novel...that commands a whole range of experience, with narrative technique that is a marvel.”
“Splendid...modestly, delicately and with unobtrusive, laudable self-doubt, Morrow has written a precise study of the sexual and artistic conscience.”
—Village Voice Literary Supplement (VLS 25 Best Books of the Year)
“The Almanac Branch is an uncanny tale, lyrical and hallucinatory by turns, perverse and innocent, something of a latter-day Gothic romance by one of the best of our new writers.”
“Subtle, craftly, witty, vivid, as well as disturbing and haunting, Bradford Morrow’s second novel is a Woolfian triumph. There has been little of this subtlety and skill for a long time. Here is a major author, of palpable style and impenitent mind.”
“There are other qualities that recommend this novel—its elegant, precise prose, equally capable of evoking city or seascapes, its convincing group of minor characters, its mature pacing and structure, and Grace's unsparing but never quite angry insights into herself and others.... A considerable achievement.”
Citation at PEN/Faulkner ceremony
Folger Library, Washington, D.C.
Joy Williams' introduction to Bradford Morrow at the PEN/Faulkner Award ceremony, May 16, 1992, Folger Library, Washington, D.C., at which Don DeLillo, Allan Gurganus, Paul Gervais, and Stephen Dixon were fellow finalists:
Should I mention Conjunctions? I’m not going to mention Conjunctions. Tonight is Bradford Morrow’s night, not as the brilliant, intuitive editor of that classy journal, with its excellent writers excellently performing, but in his own right, as author of the rich and risky book, The Almanac Branch. Rich in its remarkable prose, its stories within stories, risky in its intention, which is to render and mirror consciousness—in this case the consciousness of a young, not terribly well-adjusted woman named Grace, a troubled, self-doubting, ruthlessly self-remembering and imagined consciousness. As a child, Grace lives in language. As an adult, she lives in plot. The Almanac Branch moves with stylish confidence in both worlds.
Beneath its Gothic Cloak, The Almanac Branch is quick and rangy, as one reviewer said...twenty pages into this book you wouldn't put it down if it were on fire...As writers, we know that it is often not the appearance of the word, but the manner of its reappearance that matters and Bradford Morrow causes words to reappear—reignite—in the most marvelous ways. Words are such a common substance, isused, abused, mundane, cheap, weedy, often worthless. But Morrow sets them aflame. They perform extraordinary feats, much like Grace's "the light people"—creatures she has imagined to make sense of the pain she suffers as a child—do...Words are ailanthus trees. Light people are wonderful writers like Bradford Morrow. And here he is.