There came a day (a terrible day) when the story was almost fully told, when his mother decided to reveal everything, all of it, start to finish, repeating even those parts he knew, leaving out only what she herself had forgotten. Edgar was upset by how unfair it seemed, but he hid his reac- tion, afraid she would sugar the truth when he asked other questions. Until then, he thought he understood something about those events, about the world in general - that there would be a certain balance to the story, that somehow there was to be compensation for the baby. When his mother told him the pup died that first night, he thought hed heard her wrong, and made her repeat it. Later, he came to think maybe there had been a certain compensation, though harsh, though it lasted only a day.
His mother became pregnant again, and this time she carried the baby to term. He was that baby, born on the thirteenth of May, 1958, at six oclock in the morning. They named him Edgar, after his father. And though the pregnancy went smoothly, a complication arose the moment he drew his first breath to cry.
He was five days in the hospital before they finally brought him home.
Excerpted from The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski Copyright © 2008 by David Wroblewski. Excerpted by permission of Ecco, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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