Half a Look of Cain

Trade Paper – $22.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-5088-1

Trade Cloth – $27.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-5031-7
Publication Date
September 1998
Page Count
136 pages
Trim Size
5 5/8 x 8 7/8

Half a Look of Cain

A Fantastical Narrative
William Goyen

Ahead of its time in its swirling visionary structure, Half a Look at Cain was rejected by Goyen's first publisher and remained unpublished for years despite extensive revisions. The novel is shaped as a series of related episodes, and its characters dream of defying mortality and of finding perfect companionship in lovers and friends. Published at last, it shines as a celebration of passion and as a rediscovered cry against the conformity and of the 1950s.

About the Author

Charles William Goyen (April 24, 1915 – August 30, 1983) was an American novelist, short story writer, playwright, poet, editor, and teacher. Born in a small town in East Texas, these roots would influence his work for his entire life. In World War II he served as an officer aboard an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific, where he began work on one of his most important and critically acclaimed books, The House of Breath. After the war and through the 1950s he published short stories, collections of stories, other novels, and plays. He never achieved commercial success in America, but his translated work was highly regarded in Europe. During his life he could not completely support himself through his writing, so at various times he took work as an editor and teacher at several prominent universities.

"William Goyen has always been the most mysterious of writers. He is poet, singer, musician as well as storyteller; he is a seer, a troubled visionary; a spiritual presence in a national literature largely deprived of the spiritual." --Joyce Carol Oates
"A highly charged lyrical tribute to the powers and terrors of 20th-century love and lust." --Chicago Tribune

"Half a Look of Cain is the work of an intelligent, gifted artist."

The New York Times Book Review