Terry Bisson (author); ANY DAY NOW; The Overlook Press (Fiction: General) $24.95 ISBN: 9781590207093
Byline: Lydia Belanger
Any Day Now attests to the fact that some commune-dwelling hippies actually grew up on streets "with no sidewalks" and went to "brand-new" schools. Their "fathers bought a new car every other year," and their "mothers made cake from a box and ironed in front of the TV."
The story follows the life of its author, Terry Bisson, from the perspective of his protagonist, Clay. Both were born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky, and grew up in the post-WWII era of prosperity and new thought. Clay learns truths about life and love through lifelong friendships, despite his own transience, and these lessons, recollections, and plot developments are structured into short, chronological anecdotes just a few paragraphs in length.
As a youth, Clay becomes involved with a beatnik known as Roads, who invites Clay and his friends to listen to jazz and take turns reading Kerouac's On the Road in his home. Roads says he dropped out of Columbia University "to get an education," and Clay drops out of his institution, Gideon, in Minnesota, to do the same.
Clay makes new friends and develops sexual relations with a roommate nicknamed EmCee. When their relationship ends abruptly amidst catastrophe and controversy, Clay heads to the Southwest to join a group of hippies. Their commune is self-sufficient in its cultivation of both food crops and marijuana, and concerned with, yet distanced from, political developments, wars, assassinations, and peace movements.
He lives with long-haired versions of his childhood and college friends, as well as some new characters, including a horse named Color TV and a...