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Ash Wednesdayby Ethan Hawke
Synopses & Reviews
From the multitalented actor and writer Ethan Hawke: a piercing novel of love, marriage, and renewal.
Jimmy is AWOL from the army, but — with characteristic fierceness and terror — he's about to embark on the biggest commitment of his life. Christy is pregnant with Jimmy's child, and she's determined to head home, with or without Jimmy, to face up to her past and prepare for the future. Somehow, barreling across America from Albany to New Orleans to Ohio and Texas in a souped-up Chevy Nova, Christy and Jimmy are transformed from passionate but conflicted lovers into a young family on a magnificent journey.
Ash Wednesday is a novel of blazing emotion and remarkable grace, a tale that captures the intensity — the excitement, fear, and joy — of being on the threshold of the mysterious country of marriage and parenthood. Powerful, assured, and large of heart, punctuated by moments of tremendous humor, it represents, for Hawke the novelist, a major leap forward.
"Succeeds because of a kind of rolling exuberance of style that carries one along a narrative freeway with no exits. Once you're on, you're on." Larry McMurtry
"A fast-paced story laced with thoughtful meditations on such thorny issues as spirituality, self-acceptance, and what makes love last." Austin American Statesman
"Employing his ear for dialogue as a rudder and his insight into character as a turbo, Ethan Hawke skillfully narrates the roiling waters of the twentysomething heart." Tom Robbins
"Hawke's witty narrative . . . presents us with a pair of lively and surprisingly earnest pilgrims." The New York Times Book Review
"The novel's conversational tone, dual first-person narration and, above all, direct exploration of the simple truths of life and love make this a worthwhile tale and an honest one, sufficient to make most readers look forward to Hawke's next." Publishers Weekly
"The thing is, the guy can write. Ash Wednesday unfolds pretty much the way a book should, tracing a herky-jerk romance from Albany, New York, to New Orleans and Texas in a bizarrely mature narrative — straight, unapologetic, even funny. You keep flipping back to the jacket photo of Ethan Hawke thinking, Hell, no, until you start to see him as more than a skinny actor. By the end, he's Ethan Hawke, skinny novelist. And why not? He has the components: a good eye, a passably complex worldview, and an evolving opinion of love." Tom Chiarella, Esquire
"A provocative, sensual meditation on faith and marriage — think Denis Johnson by way of Sam Shepard." Pages
"Ethan Hawke is a gifted novelist. This, his second novel, follows the intense romance and marriage of two smart, feeling, articulate young lovers." The Boston Globe
"Passionate, spiritual, and ambitious." Glamour
"Hawke has become a novelist. . . . Ash Wednesday is the work of a real writer." The Boston Phoenix
"Hawke demonstrates a maturity of style and vision [and] a compelling sense of detail." San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
An Academy Award nominated actor for his work in TRAINING DAY, an Academy Award nominated writer for the BEFORE SUNSET screenplay and a Tony Award nominated actor for his work on stage in THE COAST OF UTOPIA, Ethan Hawke has uniquely established a successful career acting on film and on stage, as a novelist, a screenwriter and a director.In film, Hawke was last seen in Richard Linklaters FAST FOOD NATION. Some of his other film credits include EXPLORERS (which marked his acting debut), DEAD POETS SOCIETY, DAD, WHITE FANG, ALIVE, REALITY BITES, BEFORE SUNSET and the sequel BEFORE SUNRISE, GATTACA, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, HAMLET, and TRAINING DAY.Ethan Hawkes novels THE HOTTEST STATE and ASH WEDNESDAY are both available from Vintage. Hawke recently directed the film version of THE HOTTEST STATE. He will also make his Off Broadway directing debut in the fall of 2007 with Jonathan Marc Shermans dark comedy play, THINGS WE WANT.
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