Andy Catlett Early Travels

With Andy Catlett, Wendell Berry returns to Port William in the midst of the Second World War, continuing a story he has been telling now for fifty years.

Nine-year-old Andy Catlett is preparing to visit two places he has visited many times before. Tomorrow, he’ll set out for his grandparents’ by bus, for the first time alone. This is an adventure Andy is taking very seriously---it will be a rite of passage, he thinks, his first step into manhood. Tough he is sometimes a problem at home, at his grandparents’ houses he is a good boy, and he looks forward to the little spoiling certain to come his way. He does not complain or resist when his father wakes him early, signing the beginning of a momentous day.

During the Christmas of 1943, several of this young boy’s experiences on his solitary journey become pivot points of the entire epic of Port William. The old ways are in retreat, modern life is crowding everything in its path, and as Andy looks back many years later, he hears the voices again of his neighbors and friends.

This book is as much a perfect introduction into the whole world of Port William as it is a continuation for those already familiar with this rich, unfolding story.