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"All That Is" covers a period from 1945 to 1985: From his experience as a young naval officer in battles off Okinawa, Philip Bowman returns to America. He studies and writes for a theatre journal. New York is an untamed place where anything seems possible. He finds a position as an editor in a prestigious publishing house at a time when publishing is still largely a private affair — a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe — a time of gatherings in fabled apartments and conversations that continue long into the night. In this world of dinners, deals, and literary careers, Bowman finds that he fits in perfectly. But despite his success, love eludes him. His first marriage goes bad, another fails to happen. Finally he meets a woman who enthralls him — setting him on a course he could never have imagined.
James Salter (1925 - 2015) was an American novelist and short-story writer. Originally a career officer and pilot in the United States Air Force, he abandoned the military profession in 1957 following the publication of his first novel, The Hunters. According to Salter only his 1967 novel A Sport and a Pastime came close to meeting his own standards. After Solo Faces in 1979 Salter didn't publish another novel until All That Is in 2013, two years before his death. Salter won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1989.