About Them cover

About Them 2011 El León Literary Arts

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The thirteen stories comprising About Us (Chester Aaron’s first novel, published 1967) were about the teen-ager, Ben Kahn, and his family (the only Jews in town) and their neighbors. The place: a coal mine village in Pennsylvania. The time: before and during  World War II.

Now comes About Them (Chester Aaron’s 24th novel.)

The Prologue and 7 chapter-stories in About Them are also about Ben Kahn and that Pennsylvania coal-mine village. But the time is now, because Ben Kahn, in his ‘80s, returns now to marry Early Taylor, the girl with whom he had been in love when he was a boy in that village. 

The Taylors? The only African-American family in the village.

Ben and Early, married, will live in California forever or until they die. “Whichever,” Early says, “comes first.”

“… The narrative, by turns dramatic, comic, and chilling like its predecessor, is nonetheless permeated with kindness, generosity, and love right up to the astonishing ending. … .”

—Donald Fanger, Professor Emeritus
Harvard University

“ … an amazing book. It quietly and honestly reveals an underbelly of American life that is simultaneously terribly naïve and terribly cruel. … You won’t quickly forget this book.”

—Gerald Stern, Chancellor of the Academy of Poets;
Poet-in-Residence, Drew University

“ A magnificent blend of past and present that will move you to tears and will also leave you feeling joy. The French, of course, have a word for it: joie de vivre – this book is the living embodiment of joie de vivre.”

—Dr. Jeffrey Masson
When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Life of Animals.