Red Sky at Morning : a Novel by Richard Bradford
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1968. Eighth printing. Hardcover. 256 pages ; 21 cm. $4.95 dust jacket. Foxing to the back of the dust jacket, and the rear cover board. Oily stain to the front of the dust jacket. Slight lean to spine. Pages are toned. No markings to pages. Binding is firm.
Red Sky at Morning
a novel by RICHARD BRADFORD
My father and I sat on the bed, and he told me what a dope I was and how he wished he could find a kindly, understanding institution to put me in while he went off to the Navy.
"But no kidding," he said finally. "You be nice to your mother. You watch out for her. There aren't going to be any Southerners out in Sagrado to keep her feeling good, so go easy."
It was in Mobile, this conversation between Josh Arnold and his father — just before Josh and his mother took off for Sagrado, in the mountains of New Mexico, to sit out World War II. On this edge of a father-son relationship of intense mutual respect and loyalty begins the exuberant, bitter-sweet story of a young man learning a great deal, in an alien place, of what life and people are all about.
In Sagrado, the people are Mexicans, Indians, Anglos—the young crowd and their elders. Chango chasing Josh with a knife. The Cloyd girls chasing anything with pants on and a car to drive. Steenie Stenopolous collecting sex lore from his father's medical texts. Josh and Marcia Davidson, the rector's daughter, trying to collect each other. And the sheriff, Chamaco, trying to get at the blackguards and the superstition in the higher mountains. These are the Corazon Sagrado people, as delightful as they are disreputable.
With superb and lingering richness and with high comedy, the author has taken a piece of life in a piece of America, and caught there the enduring spirit of youth, and focused the light of the mountain sun on the values in life that count. Red Sky at Morning has the quality of enchantment, with gaiety sparkling on the surface, and the depth of human feeling underneath.
RICHARD BRADFORD was born in Chicago and grew up in New Orleans, New York and Santa Fe. He was graduated from Tulane in 1952 and spent three years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Bradford lives with his wife and young son in Santa Fe, where he is a technical and public relations writer and editor. Red Sky at Morning is his first novel. He explains that it is not autobiographical, although it does contain a very personal view of a special part of the Southwest.
"What a lovely book! It has the breath apt.' very smell of youth, and that why, of course, it provokes ^spontaneous laughter, and tears just behind. This is indeed good writing.' -EMILY KIMBROUGH
"Mr. Bradfqrd believes in the human comedy the way DiMaggio believes in baseball, the way Nureyev believes in the dance; the way people, no matter what, believe in laughing when they might - just as well be weeping." —RICHARD CONDON
"Bradford's book has bite as well as beauty and graceful wit. . . . To my mind it is precisely what a novel ought to be—an entertainment, a book to read for the plain joy of reading. In short, a delight." —H. ALLEN SMITH
"My wife and I both read Red Sky at Morning. It's a terribly funny book with some of the richest characters I've read about in some years. ... I think young Mr. Bradford has a long and successful career in front of him." —GROUCHO MARX
"An honest to God novel—not an autobiography, not a tract, not a work of black humor (whatever the hell that is) but a novel with nice people and frightful people, touching and moving and changing each other. It is very welcome and a great joy to read. " —ROBERT PAUL SMITH
"The people . . . are as real as rain. . . . Pungent Anglo-Mexican speech is as faithful as a tape recording and so is every other dialect Mr. Bradford's ear has caught. With his first effort the son of a distinguished southern writer has made a place for himself among artists." —MARC CONNELLY
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