THE TIME MOM MET HITLER, FROST CAME TO DINNER, AND I HEARD THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
He was predestined for literary greatness. If only his father hadn’t used up all the words.
As the son of the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Richard Eberhart, Dikkon Eberhart grew up surrounded by literary giants. Dinner guests included, among others, Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, W. H. Auden, and T. S. Eliot, all of whom flocked to the Eberhart house to discuss, debate, and dissect the poetry of the day.
To the world, they were literary icons. To Dikkon, they were friends who read him bedtime stories, gave him advice, and, on one particularly memorable occasion, helped him with his English homework.
Anxious to escape his famous father’s shadow, Dikkon struggled for decades to forge an identity of his own, first in writing and then on the stage, before inadvertently stumbling upon the answer he’d been looking for all along—in the most unlikely of places. Brimming with unforgettable stories featuring some of the most colorful characters of the Beat Generation, The Time Mom Met Hitler, Frost Came to Dinner, and I Heard the Greatest Story Ever Told is a winsome coming-of-age story about one man’s search for identity and what happens when he finally finds it.
Dikkon Eberhart's memoir with the long, delicious title is one-of-a-kind. His recollections of the literati surrounding his famous father are worth the price of the book alone, but Dikkon has his own story to tell, and it's the best one I know: of a haunted unlikely man finally found by God. This book is not just a record of an extraordinary life, which would be enough: it's the beautiful fruit of a long wrestling with fame, language, memory and finally, God himself.
Leslie Leyland Fields, author of Surviving the Island of Grace: A Memoir of Alaska and Crossing the Waters
Beyond Thule to an incredible goal—Paradise: that is the journey actually hazarded by the Irish monk St. Brendan the Navigator in the sixth century A.D. Around this recorded exploit, Dikkon Eberhart has woven a work of fiction that is much more than a sea-adventure story, although it is an exciting and often harrowing one. PARADISE is a brilliantly realized nautical, mythological, theological adventure story, set in an age when such was the coinage of the human spirit.
Based on the medieval legend of the Irish monk, St. Brendan, Eberhart’s novel builds slowly to a stunning climax…. As Eberhart tells of human endurance on stormy seas, he also explores storms of the spirit and probes the sources of mysteries, miracles, and conflicting beliefs; in the end, paradise is lost for some, regained for others. The tale-spinning here recreates the ancient world as it might have been, and movingly depicts the peregrinations of human beings as they struggle to come to terms with their gods.
…fine sea action and inventive detail…
This remarkably sensitive novel is not only a beautifully written evocation of nature, but a frightening look at the illegitimate refuge that nature, in our day...[becomes] for those who wish to use it as a retreat from responsibility, an excuse for not taking on human commitments that a full life requires. Mr. Eberhart…is indeed a novelist, and the people in Noah’s righteousness-haunted landscape are very real and very convincing. On the Verge is a novel that needed to be written, and it is good that a writer as perceptive and incisive as Dikkon Eberhart was around to write it.
James Dickey, poet and best-selling author of the novel, Deliverance
ON THE VERGE
This lyrically sensual and compelling novel by Dikkon Eberhart portrays a young man who, while constructing a stone house for friends, copes with desire for a seemingly unattainable woman and then with the ultimate challenge of total maturity.
Set in the woods of Vermont, the story is told in an unfolding narrative by the young man, Noah, who has sought contentment in self-sufficiency, far from urban living. Loving the things of the earth, holding himself aloof from people, and allowing the seasons to rule him with their predictable cycles, he fancies himself secure and in mature control of his life.
Then, as a summer project, he agrees to take charge of building a stone house for a couple turning their backs on city life. Jill and Robert confide in Noah in embarrassing detail. They are building not only for themselves but for the child they desperately yearn to conceive.
Another couple dabbling in nature joins the group; Lauren, a coolly sophisticated, somewhat remote young woman, developing her gifts as a painter, and her husband Calvin, a scholar fascinated by the lifestyle of Noah, whom he perceives as a rustic—with a perplexing difference.
Wrenching sadness accompanies the tragedy that follows—tragedy that hurtles to its culmination in an episode of pity and horror. Yet love emerges. And as Noah’s perceptions deepen, he finds himself confronting at last the meaning of manhood—the ultimate maturity, the adult landscape from which his beloved woods have shielded him in vain. The last glimpse is one of sheer tenderness—momentary, illusory perhaps, yet “serene as a fire that has reversed the very moon-pull of the sea.”
Dikkon Eberhart is a major voice in the tradition of serious American novelists, with a gift for writing superbly of humanity and nature.
A remarkable novel. Dikkon is a natural-born writer.
Robert Penn Warren, poet and best-selling author of the novel All the King's Men. BTW, "Red" Warren is the only man to have won the Pulitzer Prize for both poetry and fiction.