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John Lithgow Reads His Favorite Novel in a Special Recording Released By 92Y

So Long, See You Tomorrow  centers on one man’s memory of boyhood friendship and a tragedy that took place on a farm in rural Illinois in the 1920s.

John Lithgow Reads His Favorite Novel in a Special Recording Released By 92Y

John Lithgow is featured in a special, new audio recording released by 92Y: a reading of William Maxwell's novel, So Long, See You Tomorrow. The novel is Lithgow's personal favorite, and in the recording, commissioned by 92Y's Unterberg Poetry Center, the Emmy Award-winner reads it in its entirety.

The recording is available on 92Y's website.

So Long, See You Tomorrow centers on one man's memory of boyhood friendship and a tragedy that took place on a farm in rural Illinois in the 1920s. It earned Maxwell the National Book Award in 1982.

"I got hold of the novel when I read something wonderful about it and read it aloud to my wife as we drove across the country, and it has remained my favorite book," said Lithgow. "It's just this intensely moving memory piece. It's a novel told by an old man, and he tells the story of the dissolution of two farms and two families, going from an almost Eden of agriculture cooperation and family friendship to a pure hell devastating several lives. With Maxwell, boy, you just saver the literature and leave yourself wide open."

So Long, See You Tomorrow was the last of William Maxwell's six novels, published in 1980 when the author was 72. His other works of fiction and nonfiction include They Came Like Swallows (1937), The Folded Leaf (1945), All the Days and Nights: Collected Stories (1994), and Ancestors: A Family History (1971). He was perhaps best known as the longtime fiction editor of The New Yorker (1936-1975), where he became a legendary mentor and confidant to many of the most prominent authors of the day, among them J.D. Salinger, John Cheever and Eudora Welty.

The Lithgow/So Long, See You Tomorrow recording is the latest in a series of specially commissioned projects by 92Y's Poetry Center. Others have included Ethan Hawke reading Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gilead; and actor Paul Giamatti r eading the Herman Melville classic, Bartleby, the Scrivener. In March of 2020, in response to the pandemic, the Poetry Center launched the podcast Read By, which features prominent authors reading literary works that have had a lasting personal impact on them.

John Lithgow is an American actor, poet, author and singer. Prolific in films, television and on stage, Lithgow is the recipient of numerous accolades, including, two Golden Globe Awards, two Tony Awards and six Emmy Awards. His well-known film and television roles include The World According to Garp, Terms of Endearment, Kinsey, Bombshell, 3rd Rock From the Sun and The Crown, among many others. His distinguished Broadway career includes starring roles in The Changing Room, The Sweet Smell of Success, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Stories By Heart. In 2007, he made his Royal Shakespeare Company debut as Malvolio in Neil Bartlett's production of Twelfth Night . He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame, and has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


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