Summer Reading Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN!

Weekly drawing for $100 credit. Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

More at Powell's


Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers



I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$3.50
List price: $15.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

This title in other editions

Lying Awake (Vintage Contemporaries)

by

Lying Awake (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

ISBN13: 9780375706066
ISBN10: 0375706062
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $3.50!

 

Staff Pick

Sister John of the Cross is a nun with special gifts; she is filled with poetry, with love for God and the Innocent Spouse, and with pain (real pain in the form of blinding headaches that give her no rest, but during which she has visions). Something like a hammer in her skull reveals to her that humans are "God dreaming" and other flights of breathless grace, but when the Sister discovers that there may be a more earthly component to all of this, she is forced to make a choice that is nothing less than a test of her faith. In Lying Awake, Mark Salzman has written a book so lovely that it seems like something that is itself on the verge of escape.
Recommended by Gin, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Mark Salzman's Lying Awake is a finely wrought gem that plumbs the depths of one woman's soul, and in so doing raises salient questions about the power — and price — of faith.

Sister John's cloistered life of peace and prayer has been electrified by ever more frequent visions of God's radiance, leading her toward a deep religious ecstasy. Her life and writings have become examples of devotion. Yet her visions are accompanied by shattering headaches that compel Sister John to seek medical help. When her doctor tells her an illness may be responsible for her gift, Sister John faces a wrenching choice: to risk her intimate glimpses of the divine in favor of a cure, or to continue her visions with the knowledge that they might be false — and might even cost her her life.

Review:

"Lying Awake showcases an almost ethereal talent, one that can handle complex ideas with a touch lighter than air." New York Post

Review:

"Elegant....Salzman's depiction of Sister John's conflict, convent life, and this society of devoted women is a marvelous accomplishment." The Seattle Times

Review:

"A gentle story....Graceful, lucid, and enjoyable." Newsday

Review:

"Mark Salzman is...a poet, capturing in the pages of Lying Awake, his shining novel about devotion and doubt, a mysticism that reaches back in time to an older tradition, yet dwells easily in the present." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"A satisfying and evocative questioning of faith and art." The Oregonian

Review:

"A deliberate and somewhat plodding account of life inside a Carmelite convent, told with a surfeit of awe by Salzman, who seems to have read too much Rumer Godden for his own good." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Written with simple elegance, alternating narrative and prayer, the tale is engaging yet maintains a curious emotional elusiveness. A drama centering on the realm of mysticism is bound to be difficult to describe and, like Ron Hansen's Mariette in Ecstasy, this story doesn't aim to render the nun's spiritual life and psyche in accessible terms for lay readers. What Salzman conveys with perfect clarity is that momentary, extraordinary mental state in which physical pain becomes pure, lucid grace poised between corporeal reality and eternity, a state that Sister John desires to prolong for a lifetime. Salzman's talent for calling forth the details and essence of unfamiliar realms is well known....With this third novel (after The Soloist), the author continues to surprise with his unorthodox choices and consistently challenging themes, story lines, and characters." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"In an era of trendy spirituality, Salzman has rendered the real thing. His book should be short-listed for all the literary prizes, but it has the kind of grace that doesn't demand them." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Readers interested in lyricism, the bone-beautiful kind that arises from a small thing intensely considered, would do well to pick up Mark Salzman's Lying Awake....[T]he concreteness and economy of Salzman's writing, his eye and ear for tiny, resonant details, eventually yield their riches in a clear-eyed vision — not, perhaps, of what God means, but certainly of what it means to be a human being." Daniel Mendelsohn, New York Magazine

Review:

"A lean, seemingly effortless tour de force...a perfect little novel." The New Yorker

Synopsis:

US

About the Author

Mark Salzman is the author of Iron & Silk, Lost in Place, and the previous novels The Laughing Sutra and The Soloist. He lives in Los Angeles.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

jaccschn, June 11, 2013 (view all comments by jaccschn)
This is a great read. One can really sense the anguish over the decision to have the surgery which will change the preceptions of self or to not have the surgery and endanger herself.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Ben from Texas, June 8, 2013 (view all comments by Ben from Texas)
I found this book to be every bit as gorgeous and controlled as people say it is. The writing is nearly flawless, and the story requires little effort to finish in a single sitting. I did however find the premise somewhat more compelling than the execution. While Salzman does complexify what we understand about Sister John of the Cross as she experiences a truly compelling conflict, the conflict itself remains static and unchanged until its resolution. Essentially, the sister's choice remains straightforward, and the novel itself becomes a brief study on the nature of this binary. I found myself wondering, if from among the hundreds of books written about Joan of Arc, whether Salzman was perhaps too aware of other writers who had explored a similar question as what is addressed in Lying Awake, and in trying to avoid replication, erred, if only slightly, toward something less generic, but also less complex.

This book has me interested in Salzman, and I'm curious to read his other titles.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375706066
Author:
Salzman, Mark
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Religious fiction
Subject:
Epilepsy
Subject:
Los angeles
Subject:
Visions
Subject:
Epileptics
Subject:
Catholics
Subject:
Los angeles (calif.)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries (Paperback)
Series Volume:
16
Publication Date:
20011031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 ILL BY STEPHANIE SHIELDHOUSE
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.15x5.16x.52 in. .45 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Deep River Used Trade Paper $5.50
  2. The Last Report on the Miracles at...
    Used Book Club Hardcover $4.50
  3. Empire Falls: A Novel
    Used Trade Paper $1.50
  4. Empty Mirror: Experiences in a... Used Trade Paper $5.50
  5. True History of the Kelly Gang Used Trade Paper $4.95
  6. Peace Like a River
    Used Trade Paper $4.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Lying Awake (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375706066 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Sister John of the Cross is a nun with special gifts; she is filled with poetry, with love for God and the Innocent Spouse, and with pain (real pain in the form of blinding headaches that give her no rest, but during which she has visions). Something like a hammer in her skull reveals to her that humans are "God dreaming" and other flights of breathless grace, but when the Sister discovers that there may be a more earthly component to all of this, she is forced to make a choice that is nothing less than a test of her faith. In Lying Awake, Mark Salzman has written a book so lovely that it seems like something that is itself on the verge of escape.

"Review" by , "Lying Awake showcases an almost ethereal talent, one that can handle complex ideas with a touch lighter than air."
"Review" by , "Elegant....Salzman's depiction of Sister John's conflict, convent life, and this society of devoted women is a marvelous accomplishment."
"Review" by , "A gentle story....Graceful, lucid, and enjoyable."
"Review" by , "Mark Salzman is...a poet, capturing in the pages of Lying Awake, his shining novel about devotion and doubt, a mysticism that reaches back in time to an older tradition, yet dwells easily in the present."
"Review" by , "A satisfying and evocative questioning of faith and art."
"Review" by , "A deliberate and somewhat plodding account of life inside a Carmelite convent, told with a surfeit of awe by Salzman, who seems to have read too much Rumer Godden for his own good."
"Review" by , "Written with simple elegance, alternating narrative and prayer, the tale is engaging yet maintains a curious emotional elusiveness. A drama centering on the realm of mysticism is bound to be difficult to describe and, like Ron Hansen's Mariette in Ecstasy, this story doesn't aim to render the nun's spiritual life and psyche in accessible terms for lay readers. What Salzman conveys with perfect clarity is that momentary, extraordinary mental state in which physical pain becomes pure, lucid grace poised between corporeal reality and eternity, a state that Sister John desires to prolong for a lifetime. Salzman's talent for calling forth the details and essence of unfamiliar realms is well known....With this third novel (after The Soloist), the author continues to surprise with his unorthodox choices and consistently challenging themes, story lines, and characters."
"Review" by , "In an era of trendy spirituality, Salzman has rendered the real thing. His book should be short-listed for all the literary prizes, but it has the kind of grace that doesn't demand them."
"Review" by , "Readers interested in lyricism, the bone-beautiful kind that arises from a small thing intensely considered, would do well to pick up Mark Salzman's Lying Awake....[T]he concreteness and economy of Salzman's writing, his eye and ear for tiny, resonant details, eventually yield their riches in a clear-eyed vision — not, perhaps, of what God means, but certainly of what it means to be a human being."
"Review" by , "A lean, seemingly effortless tour de force...a perfect little novel."
"Synopsis" by , US
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.