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A Summons to Memphis

by Peter Taylor

One of the most celebrated novels of its time, the Pulitzer Prize winner A Summons to Memphis introduces the Carver family, natives of Nashville, with the exception of Phillip, of Memphis, Tennessee.

During the twilight of a Sunday afternoon in March, New York book editor Phillip Carver receives an urgent phone call from each of his older, unmarried sisters. They plead with Phillip to help avert their widower father’s impending remarriage to a younger woman. Hesitant to get embroiled in a family drama, he reluctantly agrees to go back south, only to discover the true motivation behind his sisters’ concern. While there, Phillip is forced to confront his domineering siblings, a controlling patriarch, and flood of memories from this troubled past.

Peter Taylor is one of the masters of Southern literature. In A Summons to Memphis, he composed a richly evocative story of revenge, resolution, and redemption, and gave us a classic work of American literature.

Winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

“We finish the novel feeling we’ve not only come to know his characters, but also come to share their inner truths.”  The New York Times

A Summons to Memphis is like a leisurely port wine sipped slowly and with pleasure beneath a blackjack oak.”  The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Something of a miracle…. [A Summons to Memphis] is a work that manages to summarise and embody its author’s entire career.”  The Washington Post Book World


01 October, 1986

About Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor spent nearly forty years working in senior positions in both book and newspaper publishing. He is the author of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, A Summons to Memphis.


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