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About Grace

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About Grace Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Anthony Doerr's The Shell Collector was published in 2002, the Los Angeles Times called his stories "as close to faultless as any writer — young or vastly experienced — could wish for." He won the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Discover Prize, Princeton's Hodder Fellowship, and two O. Henrys, and shared the Young Lions Award. Now he has written one of the most beautiful, wise, and compelling first novels of recent times.

David Winkler begins life in Anchorage, Alaska, a quiet boy drawn to the volatility of weather and obsessed with snow. Sometimes he sees things before they happen — a man carrying a hatbox will be hit by a bus; Winkler will fall in love with a woman in a supermarket. When David dreams that his infant daughter will drown in a flood as he tries to save her, he comes undone. He travels thousands of miles, fleeing family, home, and the future itself, to deny the dream.

On a Caribbean island, destitute, alone, and unsure if his child has survived or his wife can forgive him, David is sheltered by a couple with a daughter of their own. Ultimately it is she who will pull him back into the world, to search for the people he left behind.

Doerr's characters are full of grief and longing, but also replete with grace. His compassion for human frailty is extraordinarily moving. In luminous prose, he writes about the power and beauty of nature and about the tiny miracles that transform our lives. About Grace is heartbreaking, radiant, and astonishingly accomplished.

Review:

"A compelling protagonist and a lyrical style grounded in precise observation of the physical world...[a] complex, ambitious first novel....A bold attempt...by a gifted writer whose own future looms promisingly indeed." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Doerr's characters pale in comparison with the natural world he so powerfully portrays around them." Seattle Times

Review:

"About Grace is a taut, gorgeously written odyssey of heartbreak and self-forgiveness. It is indeed about grace — what happens when we have found it yet manage to lose it — and about so much more: the power of love, the power of grief, and above all the power of dreams." Julia Glass, author of Three Junes

Review:

"About Grace is a stunning meditation on chance and pattern, exile and home. Gorgeous, transporting, and deeply, deeply satisfying. Equal parts science and magic (but all of it magical)." Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club

Review:

"I loved this wonderful book — its strangeness, its obsessiveness, its beautiful sentences." Monica Ali, author of Brick Lane

Review:

"Like a gazetteer of a singular existence, About Grace is worldly — it takes place in Alaska, Ohio, the Caribbean — yet the story and its unusual hero, David Winkler, right away become fixed in a reader's attentions and stay there. About Grace is full of exacting dreams, marvelous incident, tragicomic underpinnings, and a dedication to the fundamental eccentricity of life. With the stories in The Shell Collector, we discovered a writer of immense talent; this novel gives us a sense that Mr. Doerr may become an indispensable one." Howard Norman, author of The Bird Artist and In Fond Remembrance of Me

Synopsis:

From an award-winning author whose first collection of stories was "as close to faultless as any writer — young or vastly experienced — could wish for" (Los Angeles Times) — comes an astonishingly beautiful, wise, and heartbreaking novel.

About the Author

Anthony Doerr is the author of The Shell Collector, a collection of stories. He has received two O. Henry Prizes, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the prestigious Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. The Shell Collector won the 2002 Discover Prize for Fiction and the Ohioana Book Award, and Doerr shared the New York Public Library's 2003 Young Lions Award. He lives with his wife and two sons in Boise, Idaho.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Gold Gato, January 24, 2012 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
Languid. This is a languid book requiring the reader to lower their metabolism to match the flow of the page. If the reader can do this, if the reader can build patience, then a world of graceful prose will be the reward.

The mythology of the Great Flood still lives in our heads. The fear and awe of water and waves and violent whitecaps.

"We live in the beds of ancient oceans." Water and its transformation into snowflakes form the basis of this novel. The water in each of us that longs to return to the sea, from whence it came. The main protagonist transforms also, even though it can be hard on the reader. We want to push him, force him to make an effort, DO SOMETHING!

As I continued reading, I thought of Joyce:

All day I hear the noise of waters making moan,
Sad as the sea-bird is when, going forth alone,
He hears the winds cry to the water's monotone.

The grey winds, the cold winds are blowing where I go.
I hear the noise of many waters far below.
All day, all night, I hear them flowing
To and fro.

But David Winkler is trapped by his dreams. He runs from them and stays away until his transformation is completed. Like a snowflake.

"To enter a world of shadows is to leave this world for another." Yet we stay patient and we read on, because now we are attached to David Winkler. He is a refugee. We all are, in one way or another. His travels from Alaska to Ohio to the Caribbean involve us more and more, even as we barely notice other major characters enter the book.

I truly enjoyed this novel, even though I fought it. The author dictates the character's pace, so it's my job as the reader to adjust my expectations and adapt to the protagonist. I was justly rewarded.

Book Season = Winter (brew some herbal tea)

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743261821
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Scribner
Author:
Doerr, Anthony
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Dreams
Subject:
Fathers and daughters
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
September 21, 2004
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.30x6.58x1.25 in. 1.49 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

About Grace
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 416 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780743261821 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A compelling protagonist and a lyrical style grounded in precise observation of the physical world...[a] complex, ambitious first novel....A bold attempt...by a gifted writer whose own future looms promisingly indeed."
"Review" by , "Doerr's characters pale in comparison with the natural world he so powerfully portrays around them."
"Review" by , "About Grace is a taut, gorgeously written odyssey of heartbreak and self-forgiveness. It is indeed about grace — what happens when we have found it yet manage to lose it — and about so much more: the power of love, the power of grief, and above all the power of dreams."
"Review" by , "About Grace is a stunning meditation on chance and pattern, exile and home. Gorgeous, transporting, and deeply, deeply satisfying. Equal parts science and magic (but all of it magical)."
"Review" by , "I loved this wonderful book — its strangeness, its obsessiveness, its beautiful sentences."
"Review" by , "Like a gazetteer of a singular existence, About Grace is worldly — it takes place in Alaska, Ohio, the Caribbean — yet the story and its unusual hero, David Winkler, right away become fixed in a reader's attentions and stay there. About Grace is full of exacting dreams, marvelous incident, tragicomic underpinnings, and a dedication to the fundamental eccentricity of life. With the stories in The Shell Collector, we discovered a writer of immense talent; this novel gives us a sense that Mr. Doerr may become an indispensable one."
"Synopsis" by , From an award-winning author whose first collection of stories was "as close to faultless as any writer — young or vastly experienced — could wish for" (Los Angeles Times) — comes an astonishingly beautiful, wise, and heartbreaking novel.
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