Gerald Everett Jones
Fiction, Contemporary, Psychological
June 29, 2019
2020 Independent Press Awards Distinguished Favorite in Literary Fiction. A stroke survivor tries to piece together his fragmented memories. Was he the victim or the perpetrator?
Clifford’s Spiral is a quirkily comic literary novel. Its sardonic tone recalls the wry wisdom of Kurt Vonnegut, and its preoccupation with male centeredness is reminiscent of Philip Roth. Stroke victim Clifford Klovis tries to piece together the colorful fragments of his memories. He fusses over his lifelong curiosities about astrophysics and metaphysics, Christian faith and New Age philosophy, and why the spiral shape appears in bathtub drains and at the centers of galaxies. He has imaginary conversations and arguments with wives and lovers, as well as with Hypatia of Alexandria, René Descartes, his old mentor Reverend Thurston, and Stephen Hawking. Clifford's best teacher turns out to be his paraplegic son Jeremy, who has found his father's old letters and journals. Jeremy also wonders: Who was Clifford Olmstead Klovis?