John Hawkes: The Lime Twig

(2198 words)
  • Rita Ferrari (Independent Scholar - North America)

John Hawkes's novel The Lime Twig (1961) opens with the narration of William Hencher, a lonely, overweight man who for fifteen years moved with his mother from lodging to lodging in a fictitious section of London called “Dreary Station”. Hencher describes the suffocatingly intimate details of life with his mother, filling his narrative with visceral images of improvised domestic arrangements and of the acute fear of the fire bombing of the city during World War II. It was a time that left Hencher with “plenty of soot and scum the memory could not let go of”. In the post-war years and a decade after the death of his mother, Hencher finds lodging once more in the house where she died. The house is now owned by …

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Ferrari, Rita. "The Lime Twig". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
[, accessed 28 May 2015.]