(A brief, lyrical novel with a powerful emotional charge, ...)
A brief, lyrical novel with a powerful emotional charge, Rules for Old Men Waiting is about three wars of the twentieth century and an ever-deepening marriage. In a house on the Cape “older than the Republic,” Robert MacIver, a historian who long ago played rugby for Scotland, creates a list of rules by which to live out his last days. The most important rule, to “tell a story to its end,” spurs the old Scot on to invent a strange and gripping tale of men in the trenches of the First World War. Drawn from a depth of knowledge and imagination, MacIver conjures the implacable, clear-sighted artist Private Callum; the private’s nemesis Sergeant Braddis, with his pincerlike nails; Lieutenant Simon Dodds, who takes on Braddis; and Private Charlie Alston, who is ensnared in this story of inhumanity and betrayal but brings it to a close. This invented tale of the Great War prompts MacIver’s own memories of his role in World War II and of Vietnam, where his son, David served. Both the stories and the memories alike are lit by the vivid presence of Margaret, his wife. As Hearts and Minds director Peter Davis writes, “Pouncey has wrought an almost inconceivable amount of beauty from pain, loss, and war, and I think he has been able to do this because every page is imbued with the love story at the heart of his astonishing novel.” From the Hardcover edition.
License Phil., Heythrop College, England, 1960. Bachelor, Oxford University, England, 1964. Master of Arts, Oxford University, England, 1967.
Doctor of Philosophy, Columbia University, 1969. AM (honorary), Amherst College, 1985. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Williams College, 1985.
Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Doshisha University, 1987. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Wesleyan University, 1989. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Amherst College, Massachusetts, 1995.
Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Trinity College, 1990.
Instructor classics, Fordham University, Bronx, New York, 1964-1967; assistant professor, Columbia University, New York City, 1969-1971; dean Columbia College, Columbia University, New York City, 1972-1976; associate professor, Columbia University, New York City, 1977-1983; professor classics, Columbia University, New York City, 1983-1984; president, Amherst (Massachusetts) College, Massachusetts, 1984-1994; president emeritus, Amherst (Massachusetts) College, since 1994; professor classics, Amherst (Massachusetts) College, since 1994; Fobes professor Greek, Amherst (Massachusetts) College, since 1995. Consultant classical literature Columbia Encyclopedia, 1970-1973. Trustee Columbia University Press, 1972-1975.
Trustee British-American Education Foundation, New York City, 1971-1975. Member American Philological Association Beta Kappa M C.
Married Bethanne McNally, June 25, 1966. 1 son, Christian; married Susan Rieger, March 21, 1973. 1 daughter, Margaret.
Married Katherine Dalsimer, June 9, 1990.