William Herrick

William Herrick was born on January 10, 1915 in Trenton, New Jersey. As a young man he worked on an anarchist farm, lived in a commune in Michigan, hoboed around the country, and was very nearly tarred and feathered while organizing Black sharecroppers in the South. Returning to the North, he worked for the Furriers’ Union in New York City and then traveled to Spain, where, as a member of the International Brigades, he fought for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War until he was wounded on the Madrid Front. Returning to New York, Herrick was employed for many years as a court reporter, only taking time off to work for Orson Welles for a short spell. He died in 2004.

Bradovich

Fiction by William Herrick

Hailed by Publishers Weekly as “an A-1 satire on urban living,” William Herrick’s Bradovich is now available as a New Directions paperbook. Stephen Bradovich––sculptor, widower, former pro ball player, sometime brawler. Why would this complexly human, anarchist protagonist receive a visit from two impassive, square-shouldered operatives with the alarmling news: “You are under surveillance pending review, that’s the message The Authority sends you”? Praised for the compassion, humanism, and “truth-seeking” of his earlier novels, Herrick in Bradovich steps beyond the “lean and muscular prose” of his terrorist trilogy (Shadows & Wolves, Love & Terror, Kill Memory) and beyond the working-class realism that won The Present Tense/Joel H.…
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That’s Life

Fiction by William Herrick

In That’s Life, William Herrick’s view of humanity is unsparing yet compassionate. He sees life as commitment––to ideals, friends, family––but no one, least of all Herrick, said it was going to be easy. His portraits of the members of a distinctly American family––a novella, five short stories, and a group of five letters––comprise not quite a novel but more than a collection of stories. “I think of it as a co-operative structure,” the author says, “in which each character owns and occupies his or her own place, yet it is the entire family which operates the building.…
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Kill Memory

Fiction by William Herrick

In William Herrick’s Kill Memory, erasing the past is just what seventy-one-year-old Elizabeth cannot do. A woman who has had many lovers, a ruthless revolutionary, a courageous underground courier during World War II, and now a disengaged exile waiting out a solitary existence in Paris, Boishke (as Elizabeth has always been called) gives her primary attention to the rituals of living––eating, dressing, walking, realistically facing up to old age, trying to sleep––and to her memories.…
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Love and Terror

Fiction by William Herrick

Now available as a New Directions paperbook, Love and Terror, William Herrick’s second novel with ND, both reflects and anticipates today’s headlines. Terrorist kidnappings, hijackings, and dramatic rescues all form a part of the plot, but Herrick’s interest lies less in tension-filled heroics than in the human cost of flawed idealism. Through the notebook of the principal terrorist, Viktor X, the complex characters of Viktor and Gabriele, for whom love and terrorism are intertwined and inseparable, are revealed.…
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Shadows And Wolves

Fiction by William Herrick

Starting from two poignant and prophetic lines by the martyred Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, “Look at his spent body / blackened with shadows and wolves,” William Herrick’s novel evokes a contemporary Spain where the fraternal clash of loyalists and fascists has given way to the conflict between conservatives and revolutionaries––fathers and sons. In portraits of the punctilious General Luis Alfara Fernandez, who never questioned the wishes of his General, and his terrorist son Rodolfo, who always questioned his father’s arbitrary authority, Herrick’s narrative is as stark and mercilessly lighted as the Andalucian landscape.…
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