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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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Salamander Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Thomas Wharton’s dazzling second novel, Salmander, is an audacious and original tour-de-force set in the eighteenth century. Rich in story and character, the novel careens through a world of ideas and stories in which the mythic power of books, the thirst for knowledge, and the pursuit of immortality are almost erotic. Yet Salamander is also a universal story of love and obsession, not only between people, but between people and the printed word. The novel combines fantasy and history, magic and human desire, in a narrative as sinuous and shape-shifting as its central image, the salamander of myth and reality.

An eccentric count in Slovakia summons the great London printer Nicholas Flood to his castle for an unusual assignment: the creation of an infinite book. Flood is intrigued by the challenge as he is drawn to the count’s daughter, Irena. Their passion (and its shattering consequences) becomes the catalyst for Flood’s spellbinding, world-spanning quest in the company of his young daughter, Pica, who was raised in a Venice ospedale. Along the way the novel gathers stories that range from a Chinese tale of jealousy and lost love, to the remarkable history of Alexandria’s other great library, and to epoch-making moments on the battlefields of colonial America.

Intricate, humane, infused with humour, poignancy, a lively intelligence, and an unforgettable cast of characters, Salamander is an extraordinary novel from an exciting and gifted new voice in fiction.

About the Author

Thomas Wharton’s first novel, Icefields, won the Banff Mountain Book Festival Grand Prize, the Writers Guild of Alberta First Book Award, and a regional Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. He now lives and teaches English in Edmonton where he is at work on his next novel, set in the present day.

Product Details

Wharton, Thomas
McClelland & Stewart
Books and reading
Historical fiction
Fantasy fiction
Love stories
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
372 p.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Salamander Sale Hardcover
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Product details 372 p. pages RANDOM HOUSE TRADE - English 9780771088339 Reviews:
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