One of the most celebrated novels of its time, the Pulitzer Prize winner A Summons to Memphis introduces the Carver family, natives of Nashville, residents, with the exception of Phillip, of Memphis, Tennessee.
During the twilight of a Sunday afternoon in March, New York book editor Phillip Carver receives an urgent phone call from each of his older, unmarried sisters. They plead with Phillip to help avert their widower father's impending remarriage to a younger woman. Hesitant to get embroiled in a family drama, he reluctantly agrees to go back south, only to discover the true motivation behing his sisters' concern. While there, Phillip is forced to confront his domineering siblings, a controlling patriarch, and flood of memories from this troubled past.
Peter Taylor is one of the masters of Southern literature, whose work stands in the company of Eudora Walty, James Agee, and Walker Percy. In A Summons to Memphis, he composed a richly evocative story of revenge, resolution, and redemption, and gave us a classic work of American literature.
Peter Taylor is well-known as a masterful writer of short stories set in the old South; not the well-explored South of explosive passions, but an urban world of faded gentility and empty custom. In his almost Jamesian evocations of the mannered upper classes in his native Tennessee, he neither romanticizes nor reviles, but meticulously observes, revealing the patterns of social behavior that leave the individual at the mercy of a relentless past. In this, only the second novel of his long career and the winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Taylor weaves a rich social web in telling the story of one family's stark social decline, symbolized by a move from Nashville to Memphis, and of the consequences through the years and down the generations.