David is a refugee from the late Sixties and early Seventies, now teaching at a community college in Western Massachusetts. Committed to helping his working-class students, he is also a part-time father who is trying to raise his son in a responsible and loving way.
When he meets an old lover from the Seventies who runs a center for battered women in Boston, and she asks him to help out in an emergency, David finds that his life and his son's begin to spiral into an increasingly dangerous and terrifying sequence of events.
David is finally forced to confront his own violence and to examine his life from a different perspective.
The Man I Never Wanted To Be is not only a thriller, but an indictment of domestic violence and the loss of meaningful work in America. It records one man's struggle to come to grips with these issues and provide meaning to his own existence.
JOHN J. CLAYTON teaches modern literature and fiction writing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His stories have been published in most major periodicals and have won prizes in O. Henry Prize Stories and Best American Short Stories. Radiance, his second collection, won the Ohio State University award in short fiction and is being published in 1998. The Man I Never Wanted to Be is his second novel.