William McPherson, one-time daily book editor at The Washington Post and later founding editor of its Book World section, will be in conversation with current Washington Post literary critic Michael Dirda on the former’s debut novel, Testing the Current, at Politics and Prose in Washington D.C. on Saturday, January 26th at 6:00 p.m. Testing the Current was originally published to critical acclaim in 1984—Russell Banks called it “permanent contribution to the literature of family, childhood and memory”—and recent reviews concur.
“Unmarred by sentimentality, false epiphanies, or forced drama, this novel both elegantly depicts a specific class in a specific time and conveys with rare understanding and subtlety the inevitable poignancy of growing up.”—The Atlantic
“[T]he clarity and precision of the prose, the ‘American’ voice, the focus on family, memory, time, and change — all did remind me of those two great books [William Maxwell’s So Long, See You Tomorrow and John Williams’s Stoner]. However, despite the easy comparisons, Testing the Current held me under a spell of its own making.”—The Mookse and the Gripes