Dogwood Afternoons is the story of Andrew Mavis, a young race-car driver. Mavis is testing his car on a new superspeedway, running practice laps against his boyhood friend and rival, Wynn Tatum, as they vie with each other for a job with a factory racing team. It soon becomes clear that it is Mavis himself who is being tested: by his car, to be sure, but also by the twists and shadings of his memory.
Dogwood Afternoons is a novel about memory, fate, and obsession. There are two narratives in the book: the first takes place in the present and is, for the most part, Andrew's interior monologue as he drives. The second part of the novel is his life--his memories of the small-town Southern world in which he grew up, of his stern silent father Wylie, of the world of boot-leggers and moonshiners, of his women, and, above all else, of his remorseless infatuation with cars.
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