The Man Who Loved Children is a magnificent novel of family life. The Pollits--Sam and Henny and their swarming household of children and animals--are American. (The time: the 1940s; the setting: in and around Washington and Baltimore.) The writer who brings them overwhelmingly to life is Australian. The novel, after years of being discovered, forgotten and rediscovered, is now securely established as a twentieth-century classic: a singularly brilliant portrayal of the all-encompassing, sometimes sheltering, sometimes suffocating womblike world that parents and children can create. Everything about the Pollits--their excesses of energy and indulgence, their closeness, their bitterness, their emotional interaction--is extreme, but the paradoxical marvel of Christina Stead's masterpiece stems from its power to convey out of such extremes an utterly convincing depiction of the central relationships of human experience.
(Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed)