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Original Essays | August 20, 2014

Julie Schumacher: IMG Dear Professor Fitger



Saint Paul, August 2014 Dear Professor Fitger, I've been asked to say a few words about you for Powells.com. Having dreamed you up with a ball-point... Continue »
  1. $16.07 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Dear Committee Members

    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138

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Customer Comments

words917 has commented on (4) products.

The Fruit of Stone by Mark Spragg
The Fruit of Stone

words917, January 1, 2012

Mark Spragg is an extraordinary craftsman, which is not only about fine details and subtle nuances, but about finding joy (and exercising patience) in the journey, rather than focusing on the arrival at one's destination. So, perhaps he isn't a writer for everyone. This novel doesn't "grab" you; its story and characters slowly get under your skin and infect you. There is nothing "larger than life" about it -- it's gritty and human, flaws and all. Spragg's exquisite prose (which might distract an avid reader of popular fiction) makes the experience and the Wyoming landscape both lush and mystifying. His seemingly unbounded love and compassion for his characters (which some might mistake for sentimentality) ultimately make it one of the most deeply (though quietly) moving and rewarding reads in recent experience. Beautiful, simply beautiful.
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The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel by Brady Udall
The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

words917, October 13, 2011

No stranger to quirky stories that probe the depths of humanity, Udall has brought to bear every bit of the formidable strength he has been cultivating in his previous work. As a result, what he has given us is an exquisitely crafted novel whose 602 pages had me alternately laughing aloud and reading through tears.

While the story of a man with 4 wives, 28 children, a struggling construction business and a mid-life crisis that could destroy it all might seem not only unusual but implausibly far-fetched, the skill and compassion with which Udall draws each character makes them so painfully human that by the end of the story, they aren't at all unbelievable, but rather, an assemblage of every family you've ever known.

It is a story of failure and redemption, dreams and disappointment, about the threats that seep in from the most unlikely sources and the blessings that do the same. An epic tale of love and family and the deepest currents of what it means to be human, a novel that should be on everyone's bookshelf.
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The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
The Lonely Polygamist

words917, June 15, 2010

No stranger to quirky stories that probe the depths of humanity, Udall has brought to bear every bit of the formidable strength he has been cultivating in his previous work. As a result, what he has given us is an exquisitely crafted novel whose 602 pages had me alternately laughing aloud and reading through unstoppable tears.

While the story of a man with 4 wives, 28 children, a struggling construction business and a mid-life crisis that could destroy it all might seem not only unusual but implausibly far-fetched, the skill and compassion with which Udall draws each nuanced character makes them so painfully human that by the end of the story, they aren't at all unbelievable, but rather, an assemblage of every family you've ever known.

It is a story of failure and redemption, dreams and disappointment, about the threats that seep in from the most unlikely sources and the blessings that do the same. An epic tale of love and family and the deepest currents of what it means to be human, a novel that should be on everyone's bookshelf -- and every book award list for 2010.
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(5 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)



An Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg
An Unfinished Life

words917, March 17, 2009

As a student of literature and fiction writing, to say I read a lot is an understatement. However, I rarely get to immerse myself in a book without seeing it through my rather brutal, analytical lens. Fortunately, Spragg's beautifully rendered narrative just wouldn't have it. The raw humanity of each character and the compassion with which their stories are unfolded is stunning, and there is much to be learned from the tenderness and forgiveness, the open-hearted approach to life's most wounded, and the blessing of lasting love and friendship that Spragg mines to bring this story to the page. I can't say nearly enough of this generous novel, or share it with as many people as it deserves. I’ve already added Spragg's other work to my shelf. I can't wait.
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)



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