Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Matters of Honor / by Louis Begley
American author Louis Begley is perhaps best known for his 1996 novel About Schmidt, a book later adapted into a same titled, Oscar-nominated film starring Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates. Born Ludwik Begleiter in Poland in 1933, Begley survived the deadly World War II genocide of all Polish Jews (he's Jewish) with aid from a compassionate Catholic family who helped hide he and his parents from the Gestapo. After the war, the Begleiters immigrated to America where the family Americanized their name and Ludwik Begleiter officially became Louis Begley. Upon graduating from Harvard, he married and had children, served for a time in the US Army and later went to law school. Despite only beginning his career as a novelist in the early 1990's (when he was in his sixties and still practicing law), Begley has carved out quite a career for himself publishing 8 novels, all well-received. Matters of Honor, Begley's latest published in 2007 is also his most autobiographical observing the relationship of three Harvard University friends in the mid-fifties.