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This title in other editions

An Imperfect Lens

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An Imperfect Lens Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Acclaimed author Anne Roiphe evokes the sights and sounds of 1880s Alexandria, Egypt, a bustling center of trade and travel. From teeming docks to overflowing market stalls, from grand homes to grimy narrow alleyways, cholera microbes rise and bob in streams of water and tiny droplets, clinging to moisture as man clings to air.

With a keen mind and dedication to his work, young Louis Thuillier has impressed his mentor—famed scientist Louis Pasteur—enough to be sent to Alexandria as one-third of the French mission searching for the source of the cholera that is terrorizing the city. Along with the other members of the French mission—scientists Emile Roux and Edmond Nocard and their enterprising servant Marcus—Louis longs to find the cure, bringing glory to himself and to France. Este Malina is the lovely daughter of a respected Jewish doctor, whose family has lived in Alexandria for hundreds of years. A life of comfort has made Este a romantic, and she hopes to marry a man with the heart of a poet. Neither expects to find a soul mate in the other, but when Este begins to assist at the French mission’s lab, a deep bond forms. Este, though, is engaged to another, and Louis is not Jewish—her family would never allow them to marry.

In spite of their many differences, the lovers’ desire grows and their fantasies threaten to distract them from their work. In Alexandria, the disease rages on, as mysterious as it was a thousand years before. Political intrigue threatens to separate Este and Louis permanently. Their love, as fragile as the glass slides they use in the lab, is in danger before it has had a chance to thrive.

With An Imperfect Lens, rich with the sights and scents of a different era, Anne Roiphe once again demonstrates the storytelling power for which she has long been hailed.

Advance Praise For An Imperfect Lens

“With dazzling richness and suspense, Anne Roiphe brings to life 19th-century Alexandria and its myriad cultures. An Imperfect Lens subtly delineates the interplay of venality and compassion within men and women struggling to cope with disaster. This is a novel of exceptional immediacy and insight.”

—Lauren Belfer, author of City of Light

“Set in the borderlands between science and religion, East and West, enlightenment and ignorance, An Imperfect Lens is a wonderfully written story reminding us that medical research was not always an industry but, rather, a sacred calling and a holy quest. Poetic, fascinating, and a damn good read.”

—Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow

“Weaving together the true-life story of scientists trying to stem a deadly epidemic, and the struggle of a Jewish family to survive political repression circa 1880s Egypt, Anne Roiphe has written a fascinating, almost painfully vivid novel that is compulsively readable.” —Naomi Ragen, author of The Covenant

Anne Roiphe is the author of eight novels, including Secrets of the City, and nonfiction work, including the National Book Award nominee Fruitful. She lives in New York City.

Review:

"Cholera arrives in Alexandria in 1883, followed by an intrepid French research team sent by Louis Pasteur to find and identify the 'swimming monster.' In this riveting account of a public health crisis and the (then) cutting-edge science that aimed to save countless lives, Roiphe (Secrets of the City) blends fact with fiction to bring historical scientists to life. The team includes Louis Thuillier, whose exacting professional persona belies a romantic side; compassionate veterinarian Edmond Nocard; Emile Roux, much respected, if a bit rough around the edges; and their fun-loving young assistant, Marcus. The Frenchmen race rampant death — and the German Dr. Robert Koch, who discovered the cause of tuberculosis — to find the cholera microbe. Roiphe weaves a love story within the urgent scientific mission, providing Thuillier with an object of affection in Este Malina, the intellectually curious daughter of a Jewish doctor. Este admires the medical passion of the French scientists, Thuillier in particular, and the two fall in love when she begins assisting in their lab. Against Alexandria's vibrant backdrop, Roiphe infuses her richly textured, propulsive story with a sense of doom brought by a microscopic enemy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Fearlessness has always been one of the most attractive features of Anne Roiphe's career. Her eight previous novels each ventured into territory new to her, from 'Up the Sandbox!' (1970), with its feminist wish-fulfillment fantasies, to 'The Pursuit of Happiness' (1991), a wide-ranging generational saga; from musings about religious ambivalence in 'Lovingkindness' (1987) to the subtleties of a middle-aged... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

A celebrated author returns with a captivating historical novel set during the cholera epidemic in 1880s Alexandria, Egypt. A French scientist who hopes to find the source of the epidemic falls in love with the daughter of a Jewish doctor, but political intrigue threatens to separate them permanently.

Synopsis:

Acclaimed author Anne Roiphe evokes the sights and sounds of 1880s Alexandria, Egypt, a bustling center of trade and travel. From teeming docks to overflowing market stalls, from grand homes to grimy narrow alleyways, cholera microbes rise and bob in streams of water and tiny droplets, clinging to moisture as man clings to air.

With a keen mind and dedication to his work, young Louis Thuillier has impressed his mentor—famed scientist Louis Pasteur—enough to be sent to Alexandria as one-third of the French mission searching for the source of the cholera that is terrorizing the city. Along with the other members of the French mission—scientists Emile Roux and Edmond Nocard and their enterprising servant Marcus—Louis longs to find the cure, bringing glory to himself and to France. Este Malina is the lovely daughter of a respected Jewish doctor, whose family has lived in Alexandria for hundreds of years. A life of comfort has made Este a romantic, and she hopes to marry a man with the heart of a poet. Neither expects to find a soul mate in the other, but when Este begins to assist at the French mission’s lab, a deep bond forms. Este, though, is engaged to another, and Louis is not Jewish—her family would never allow them to marry.

In spite of their many differences, the lovers’ desire grows and their fantasies threaten to distract them from their work. In Alexandria, the disease rages on, as mysterious as it was a thousand years before. Political intrigue threatens to separate Este and Louis permanently. Their love, as fragile as the glass slides they use in the lab, is in danger before it has had a chance to thrive.

With An Imperfect Lens, rich with the sights and scents of a different era, Anne Roiphe once again demonstrates the storytelling power for which she has long been hailed.

About the Author

Anne Roiphe is the author of eight novels, including Secrets of the City, and nonfiction work, including the National Book Award nominee Fruitful. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400082117
Author:
Roiphe, Anne
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Roiphe, Anne Richardson
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Scientists
Subject:
Medical
Subject:
Epidemics
Publication Date:
January 2006
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
8.44x6.08x1.15 in. 1.05 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

An Imperfect Lens Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 296 pages Shaye Areheart Books - English 9781400082117 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Cholera arrives in Alexandria in 1883, followed by an intrepid French research team sent by Louis Pasteur to find and identify the 'swimming monster.' In this riveting account of a public health crisis and the (then) cutting-edge science that aimed to save countless lives, Roiphe (Secrets of the City) blends fact with fiction to bring historical scientists to life. The team includes Louis Thuillier, whose exacting professional persona belies a romantic side; compassionate veterinarian Edmond Nocard; Emile Roux, much respected, if a bit rough around the edges; and their fun-loving young assistant, Marcus. The Frenchmen race rampant death — and the German Dr. Robert Koch, who discovered the cause of tuberculosis — to find the cholera microbe. Roiphe weaves a love story within the urgent scientific mission, providing Thuillier with an object of affection in Este Malina, the intellectually curious daughter of a Jewish doctor. Este admires the medical passion of the French scientists, Thuillier in particular, and the two fall in love when she begins assisting in their lab. Against Alexandria's vibrant backdrop, Roiphe infuses her richly textured, propulsive story with a sense of doom brought by a microscopic enemy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , A celebrated author returns with a captivating historical novel set during the cholera epidemic in 1880s Alexandria, Egypt. A French scientist who hopes to find the source of the epidemic falls in love with the daughter of a Jewish doctor, but political intrigue threatens to separate them permanently.
"Synopsis" by , Acclaimed author Anne Roiphe evokes the sights and sounds of 1880s Alexandria, Egypt, a bustling center of trade and travel. From teeming docks to overflowing market stalls, from grand homes to grimy narrow alleyways, cholera microbes rise and bob in streams of water and tiny droplets, clinging to moisture as man clings to air.

With a keen mind and dedication to his work, young Louis Thuillier has impressed his mentor—famed scientist Louis Pasteur—enough to be sent to Alexandria as one-third of the French mission searching for the source of the cholera that is terrorizing the city. Along with the other members of the French mission—scientists Emile Roux and Edmond Nocard and their enterprising servant Marcus—Louis longs to find the cure, bringing glory to himself and to France. Este Malina is the lovely daughter of a respected Jewish doctor, whose family has lived in Alexandria for hundreds of years. A life of comfort has made Este a romantic, and she hopes to marry a man with the heart of a poet. Neither expects to find a soul mate in the other, but when Este begins to assist at the French mission’s lab, a deep bond forms. Este, though, is engaged to another, and Louis is not Jewish—her family would never allow them to marry.

In spite of their many differences, the lovers’ desire grows and their fantasies threaten to distract them from their work. In Alexandria, the disease rages on, as mysterious as it was a thousand years before. Political intrigue threatens to separate Este and Louis permanently. Their love, as fragile as the glass slides they use in the lab, is in danger before it has had a chance to thrive.

With An Imperfect Lens, rich with the sights and scents of a different era, Anne Roiphe once again demonstrates the storytelling power for which she has long been hailed.

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