The concluding volume in a quartet of highly acclaimed novels that include A Lover's Almanac, Big as Life , and The Silver Screen
Maureen Howard's new novel is the last in a beautifully written and boldly structured cycle of four books, woven as a tapestry of the seasons, that critics have praised as "brazenly intelligent," "daredevil clever," and "raptly adventurous."
The Rags of Time tells of an aging Manhattan writer with an ailing heart who lives near Central Park, who is reviewing and examining both her own history and the lives she has imagined in her fiction. Interlaced are private rambles and public facts: daily strolls through the park; the tough love between her and the two men in her life, her husband and her brother; three mythmaking figures from history (Columbus, Walter Raleigh, and Frederick Law Olmstead) who matter prominently to her and her work; and updates on the lives of her fictional characters (an improbable mathematician, his lapsed artist wife, a woman historian in mourning).
A moving meditation on aging and death, on memory, forgiveness, and redemption, The Rags of Time is also, in its ambitious interplay of history, politics, art, and life, a book that explores the very necessity of telling stories.