All His Sons

by Frederic Raphael

"[Raphael's] stories … provide him with ample opportunity to exercise
his keen wit and mordant sense of irony. … Exposing the self-serving and dishonorable
realities beneath the surface, Raphael has an acutely perceptive eye and ear for some
of the hypocrisies and evasions of our time."
—Los Angeles Times

"Filled with crackling dialogue … [the novella All His Sons] is a darkly funny meditation
on truth, heritage, race and loyalty. The stories, peopled by film and
literature types, are at once cynical and wise … "
—Publishers Weekly

"These fictions … gain much from the polished comedy of their execution. …
Frederic Raphael is at his best when these probing arms are contained
within the elegant confines of the shorter form."
—Times Literary Supplement

"In this collection … Raphael brings to bear his Jewish-American sophistication and
upper-crust English education in a way that effortlessly combines brevity,
intellect, innovation, and wit. … Raphael's world – which often means
Manhattan – is riddled with jealousy, ambition, and infidelity … where literature
is a competition scored by six-figure advances, and where friendship is judged
according to one's dexterity with a bon mot. It is a fun, brilliant, nasty place to be."
—Glasgow Herald

"Readers who like cosmopolitan, sophisticated fiction should appreciate this collection."

In a novella and nine stories, veteran novelist and screenwriter Frederic Raphael shows the range of his storytelling abilities. Most of the characters in All His Sons are involved in the film industry, but they're not the usual stars and directors; most are writers, rewriters, investors, producers, even a film professor.

In the title novella, which takes place in New York, two very different, antagonistic brothers confront the truths of their family's present and past when they find that their father has died – or been murdered. As the brothers learn what might have happened, one, a blunt film producer, will not let the other, a wavering film professor, continue to hide from human truths behind theoretical ones. Father-son, marital, and racial relations enter into the conflict between them. Parts of the novella are told in screenplay form, heightening the work's humor as well as its drama.

The volume's nine stories are distinguished by their wit, clever twists, and the quality of the writing. In one, a hot young novelist known for his crude honesty ends up writing a dishonest screenplay of his latest novel. Another is a moving, deftly crafted tragedy about a Greek sailor whose rise and fall are one and the same.

Frederic Raphael is the author of many novels, several story and essay collections, biographies of Byron and Maugham, and translations of poetry and drama from Latin and ancient Greek. He has also written numerous screenplays, including the Academy Award-winning Darling and -nominated Two for the Road. Born in Chicago, he divides his time between London and southwestern France.

$21 cloth, 187 pages, ISBN 0-945774-49-4.

To read a story from All His Sons, click here.

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