A Place to Come To Author:Robert Penn Warren No bare-bones summary can do justice to the excitement, complexity and resonance of this powerful novel, to its many strong characters and their intricate relationships with each other, or to its unifying narrative drive, which never falters. — It is the story of Jed Tewksbury, an uprooted and alienated man--not uncommon in our time--and is told ... more »by himself in a style sometimes poetic, sometimes raunchy, an effective blend of his backwoods origin and his scholarly attainments. Jed is born just at the end of the First World War on a run-down farm near the little town of Dugton, Alabama. When he is nine his drunken father dies in a low-comedy accident that becomes part of the obscene folklore of the region. his semi-literate mother has a caustic wit, an iron character, and the determination that Jed will escape the South. As she puts it: "Git what's to git, then git, Git on."
A dedicated Latin teacher and Jed's football prowess combine to get him a scholarship at a jerkwater college, whence he enters the graduate school of the University of Chicago and excels in the field of classical and medieval literature. After fighting with the Italian Partisans behind the Nazi lines, jed returns to the university and marries a girl who dies soon thereafter. He moves to a new job in Nashville and becomes involved in a torrid and ill-fated love affair, the central event of the novel, coloring all the subsequent action. He flees to Paris and then to Chicago; he marries again, fathers a son, and is soon divorced.
Middle-aged, and now a figure of world renown, Jed goes back to Dugton for a long-deferred visit to his mother's grave, and--in what must be one of the most moving passages ever writte--is able to make some kind of peace with himself and with his past.« less