By Mark Harris
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:39 AM EDT
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Carry Me Across the Water

B+
type
  • Book
genre

Written in a wistful minor key, Canin’s gentle, fragmentary novel portrays the arc of a single Greatest Generation life-that of August Kleinman, Jewish emigre, WWII vet, businessman, husband, father; and possessor of dark secrets, a haunted past, and a name that underscores slightly too explicitly that he is a human-scale but venerable man to whom attention must be paid. Canin made his reputation as a skilled and sensitive writer of short fiction, and although his latest work is novel-length and decade-spanning, it has the moody, glancing, elliptical effect of a short story. At times, Carry Me seems an overly self-conscious homage to the author’s own greatest-generation forebears, nodding to a roster of post-World War II Jewish literary trailblazers, from Miller to Malamud, with a little Bellow and Roth thrown in. But give Canin credit for keeping the masters in mind, and for telling Augie’s story with admirable modesty, insight, and generosity. B+

Carry Me Across the Water

type
  • Book
genre
author
  • Ethan Canin

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