In 2000, while moving his household from Vermont to North Carolina, David Payne watched from his rearview mirror as his younger brother, George A., driving behind him in a two-man convoy of rental trucks, lost control of his vehicle, fishtailed, flipped over in the road, and died instantly. Soon thereafter, David's life hit a downward spiral. His career came to a standstill, his marriage disintegrated, and his drinking went from a cocktail-hour indulgence to a full-blown addiction. He found himself haunted not only by George A.'s death but also by his brother's manic depression, a hereditary illness that overlaid a dark family history whose roots now gripped David.
Barefoot to Avalon is Payne's earnest and unflinching account of George A. and their boyhood footrace that lasted long into their adulthood, defining their relationship and their lives. As universal as it is intimate, this is an exceptional memoir of brotherhood, of sibling rivalries and sibling love, and of the torments a family can hold silent and carry across generations.
Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. Page ix: Excerpt from Roth, Philip, The Counterlife. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1986. Page 21: Excerpt from "It All Comes Together outside the Restroom in Hogansville" by James Seay taken from Seay, James, Water Tables. © 1974 by Wesleyan University Press. Used with permission. Page 24: Excerpt from "Burnt Norton" by T. S. Eliot taken from Eliot, T. S., Collected Poems 1909 - 1935. London: Faber, 1936, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; Copyright © renewed 1964 by T.S. Eliot. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Page 43: Excerpt from Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner copyright © 1936 by William Faulkner and renewed 1964 by Estelle Faulkner and Jill Faulkner Summers. Used by permission of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. Page 65: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot was first published in Poetry magazine in 1915. All lines quoted are public domain. Page 70: excerpt from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss, ® and copyright © by Dr. Seuss Enterprises L.P., 1960, renewed 1988. Used by permission of Random House Children's Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. Pages 78, 124, 138: Excerpts taken from Jung, C. G., Memories, Dreams and Reflections. New York: Pantheon Books, 1963.
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- Susan Newcomb
Heartwarming and Engrossing Listen
Moving, Suspenseful, Haunting
David's circling back to the awful car accident that claimed his brother's life.
George A. and David packing up Daivd's Vermont home--the day before the awful accident.
Payne writes with gorgeous, lyrical prose.His words are musical to the ear.
- Priscilla F Bourgoine