the last days

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley is somewhat different from the earlier books of his that I have read.  This one is incredibly sad, but written in Mosley’s recognizable style.

“The great man say that life is pain,” Coydog had said over eighty-five years before.  “That mean if you love life, then you love the hurt come along wit’ it.  Now, if that ain’t the blues, I don’t know what is.”

THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE:  “One of the most humane, insightful, powerful prose stylists working today in any genre . . . One of our national treasures.”

Excerpt from interview on Fresh Air:

Mosley tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross that he wrote the novel — and imagined what Ptolemy was thinking — after watching his mother’s mind deteriorate from the early stages of dementia.

“When you deal with a person who’s experiencing dementia, you can see where they’re struggling with knowledge,” he says. “You can see what they forget completely, what they forget but they know what they once knew. You can tell how they’re trying to remember. … What I saw in my mom’s eyes and in some of her expressions, was her saying, ‘I want to understand it; I want to understand what you’re saying; I want to enter into a dialogue with you; I want things to be the way they were.’ That’s the crux of the novel: What would you do to have things the way they were?”

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