book cover of They Came Like Swallows

They Came Like Swallows

(1937)
A novel by

 
 
In the Morison house the important goes unsaid and indirection is the operative mode--conversation stops where it should start and key terms such as fear, pain and pregnancy fail to be addressed. The younger son, an eight-year-old, passes his days deciphering adults' inaccessible discussions. "In this fashion they communicated with each other, out of knowledge and experience inaccessible to Bunny. By nods and silences. By a tired curve of his mother's mouth. By his father's measuring glance over the top of his spectacles". Bunny's older brother would rather escape to the outside world, and their father finds declaiming the day's headlines--the end of World War I and the onslaught of Spanish Influenza--far preferable to engagement. Only Elizabeth, their mother, is capable of holding the family together. The fifth main character in They Came Like Swallows is the house itself. Maxwell expresses the boys' reactions through this labile, interior landscape. Bunny finds the dining room can be "braced and ready for excitement"; later his brother realises "for the first time how still the house was, how full of waiting ... tense and expectant". Though war never makes it to Illinois, the flu changes all. First Bunny is stricken, and once he recovers Elizabeth, pregnant, dies from it. In quiet, piercing prose, William Maxwell's second novel, originally published in 1937, evokes the greatest of losses and the terrors of imagination. --Amazon.com


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Used availability for William Maxwell's They Came Like Swallows

Hardback Editions

August 1997 : USA Hardback
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Title: They Came Like Swallows (Modern Library)
Author(s): William Maxwell
ISBN: 0-679-60247-X / 978-0-679-60247-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Modern Library Inc
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

December 2001 : UK Paperback
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Title: They Came Like Swallows (Panther)
Author(s): William Maxwell
ISBN: 1-86046-928-0 / 978-1-86046-928-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage Classics
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 2000 : UK Paperback
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Title: They Came Like Swallows
Author(s): William Maxwell
ISBN: 1-86046-813-6 / 978-1-86046-813-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Harvill Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


January 1964 : USA Paperback
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Title: They Came Like Swallows
Author(s): William Maxwell
ISBN: 0-679-77257-X / 978-0-679-77257-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 1988 : USA Paperback
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Title: They Came Like Swallows (Nonpareil Book)
Author(s): William Maxwell
ISBN: 0-87923-677-9 / 978-0-87923-677-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: David R Godine Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

April 2019 : Audio CD

Title: They Came Like Swallows
Author(s): William Maxwell
ISBN: 1-978678-86-X / 978-1-978678-86-6
Publisher: Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   


February 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: They Came Like Swallows
Author(s): William Maxwell
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


February 2019 : Australia Audio edition
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Title: They Came Like Swallows
Author(s): William Maxwell
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon AU   


February 2019 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: They Came Like Swallows
Author(s): William Maxwell
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon CA   


February 2019 : UK Audio edition
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Title: They Came Like Swallows
Author(s): William Maxwell
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

February 2011 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: They Came Like Swallows (Panther)
Author(s): William Maxwell
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   


September 2009 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: They Came Like Swallows (Vintage International)
Author(s): William Maxwell
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA