As he attends to the minutiae of daily care, Thorndike reviews his own past: the mother, who died when he was thirty; his wife, a beautiful woman from Chile who suffered from schizophrenia and committed suicide, leaving him to bring up their son, Janir, alone. Most of all, he finds new ways of loving and understanding his father. Joe Thorndike had a strong literary background of his own, having been the managing editor of Life magazine during that publications heyday. Dignified, patrician, the soul of civility, he was, however, an undemonstrative man who avoided the physical touch his son craved. As Joe failed, John dressed and fed him; at his death, Johns hand covered his failing heart.
Thorndike, who lived in Boulder for several years and taught writing at the University of Colorado, will read from The Last of His Mind tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street in Boulder (call 303-447-2074 for more information), and again at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 31 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2426 East Colfax Avenue (call 303-322-7727).
Mon., March 29, 7:30 p.m., 2010