Fiction. "Chester Aaron's novel-in-stories, ABOUT THEM, published nearly 35 years ago, holds a unique and lasting place in the artistic annals of American boyhood. Through the account of young Benny Kahn we come to inhabit the Pennsylvania mining town of Sundown in the years leading up to World War II. Colorful and clear-eyed, unsentimental but full of feeling, the book gives us a rich and textured sense of life as it was lived there and then. Now, in ABOUT THEM, an octogenarian Benny revisits what remains of that largely vanished world—to show what time and memory have done to the characters and the place, to fill in suppressed pieces of the past, and to irradiate the whole with a sense not only of what was and is, but what should be. The narrative, by turns dramatic, comic, and chilling like its predecessor, is nonetheless permeated with kindness, generosity, and love right up to the astonishing ending. How Aaron manages this without a trace of mawkishness is not the least of the truly rare delights this book offers"—Donald Fanger.
Born in 1923 in a Pennsylvania coal-mining town, Chester Aaron served in World War II. After attending UCLA, UC Berkeley, and San Francisco State, he joined the faculty of Saint Mary's College, retiring in 1997. Author of novels, stories, and memoirs—including the novel ABOUT THEM and the story collection SYMPTOMS OF TERMINAL PASSION, both from El León Literary Arts—he is known worldwide as an expert on garlic, growing more than fifty kinds on his farm in Sonoma County. Author City: OCCIDENTAL, CA USA