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This coffin has no handles : a novel
McGrath, Thomas
Adult Fiction MCGRATH

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From Publishers' Weekly:

michael/a lovely review!thanks/pk Written in 1947, this novel depicts a postwar American economy torn by the demands of returning veterans. McGrath, America's preeminent poet of the working class, describes in an alternately bittersweet and soaring prose style a week in the life of Joe Hunter, a young Communist Party member coming home to a war of another kind. He and his comrades on New York's West Side challenge the machinations of union bosses who control the docks. McGrath offers no paean here to the proletariat; rather, by way of an enormous narrative empathy, he subtly makes the case for the just intentions of his protagonist. Most striking, however, is the lyrical power of McGrath's writing, the building from particulars toward a commanding perspective upon the whole. This is a stirring look at a New York that still exists, and at a site of struggle that has all but vanished. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Written in 1948 and never before published, this is a Thirties-style proletarian novel filtered through a post-war noir consciousness. Set in the autumn of 1945, it depicts a longshoremen's strike on the New York waterfront. Veteran Joe Hunter returns to America with dreams of moving west only to become again embroiled in prewar causesworking with Communist labor organizers seeking to build a more representative union on the docks. McGrath's sympathies are obvious, though rarely doctrinaire, as he portrays the futile struggle against dishonest labor bosses, racketeers, corrupt priests, and police. Although occasionally leaden, the novel's vivid, naturalistic sketches of waterfront life make it an interesting addition to the work of this controversial poet. Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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