About the Book
Frederick Manfred was the author of Lord Grizzly, finalist for the National Book Award, as well as twenty-six other novels and short story collections, many of which explore nuanced struggles with death and other life challenges which demand toughness and resilience. Although a work of fiction, Boy Almighty conveys Manfred’s dramatic personal story of contracting tuberculosis as a young man and being cared for at a convalescent home at the Glen Lake Sanatorium in Minnesota.
A remarkable blend of stream-of-consciousness and objective reporting, Boy Almighty is the story of a man in the throes of dissolution and disintegration from tuberculosis and of his recovery, reintegration, and rebirth. Eric Frey, sensitive, aware, in love with life, yet beset with frustration and failure, is at first too ill to be placed in a tubercular ward, where his almost certain death would be upsetting to the other patients. Running concurrently with the inner story of Frey’s mind is the story of his body’s struggle to survive. Boy Almighty is a profound and compelling study of a man who desperately wants to live and of his relationships with doctors, nurses, roommates, and a fellow patient who teaches him the meaning of love.
Frederick Manfred (1912–94) is the author of twenty-six novels and short stories, including the Bison Books five-volume series, The Buckskin Man Tales, which includes Lord Grizzly, finalist for the 1954 National Book Award, Conquering Horse, Scarlet Plume, King of Spades, and Riders of Judgment. Freya Manfred is the author of the memoir Frederick Manfred: A Daughter Remembers and eight books of poetry, including Loon in Late November Water.
“Frederick Manfred’s semi-autobiographical second novel, Boy Almighty, is an eloquent, literary masterpiece of a young man’s life-and-death struggle with tuberculosis. The Iowa native’s poignant reflections on love, mortality, and faith are timeless reminders of what it means to be a human being.”—Stuart Rosebrook, editor of True West magazine