The Test
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DOROTHY BRYANT is a native San Franciscan, the daughter of immigrants from northern Italy. She attended public schools in the Mission District, then San Francisco State University, completing a BA in music (1950) and an MA in creative writing (1964).

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The Test

Dorothy Bryant

Afterword by Barbara Horn

From American Book Award-winner Dorothy Bryant, comes this timeless story about caring for an aging parent. With complexity, bravery, and dry humor, The Test details the frustrating push and pull between Pat and her eighty-year-old father, who is attempting—for the third and last time—to pass the test to renew his driver's license. Bryant's unflinching gaze sees deep into the hearts of both parent and child, revealing the dramatic, awkward, and universal struggle each faces with aging, memory, and love. Trying to reconstruct memories of her childhood and of who her parents once were, Pat puzzles out the confabulations of family memory: how stories become accepted fact, how facts get twisted in stories, and how some perspectives are lost completely. In a deeply sensitive examination of one woman's coping with the changes of aging, Bryant offers a rare and moving testimony.

"Wryly comic, . . . Bryant's examinations of thorny, contemporary relationships have docudrama punch, building as they do on sharp, harsh recognitions: a masterful portrait."

Kirkus Reviews

"For nearly twenty years, Berkeley novelist Dorothy Bryant has consistently and amazingly anticipated the events and issues of her time. . . .The Test offers the kind of fiercely wise observations we have come to expect of Bryant."

San Francisco Chronicle

"The cutting incisiveness of the characterizations, the delicate balance between tragedy and humor, the entire tautness and clarity and the depths of feeling come through. . . . A vividly alive glimpse into the human condition."

—Ella Leffland, author of Breath and Shadows