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Salvation Cityby Sigrid Nunez
Salvation City is a coming-of-age tale that is complicated by far more than the usual adolescent angst. Thirteen-year-old Cole has lost both parents to a flu pandemic and nearly dies himself. The pandemic has ripped apart the United States, leaving massive death and infrastructure collapse with little help to be found. Having lost his family, home, and all of his possessions, Cole initially ends up in an orphanage and is eventually placed with an Evangelical family in the tiny town of Salvation City, Indiana. Nunez does a beautiful job of depicting both Fundamental Christianity and staunch atheism without demonizing either side, and while her characters heatedly argue about their beliefs, she portrays them gracefully. She illustrates how there can be humanity on both sides.
Miles away (both physically and culturally) from his family of origin, Cole becomes simply an observer in his own life, so confused is he about the turn his life has taken. He finally finds his own voice only after a crisis looms in Salvation City (which may portend the end of the world... or perhaps not). Full of small moments that are quiet, dark, sweet, bitter, harrowing, breathless, joyful, and just plain sad, the story unfolds as Cole begins to understand, or at least have an inkling about, his own life. Impeccably written, Salvation City is a wonder.
Synopses & Reviews
A poignant, intimate memoir of one of Americas most esteemed and fascinating cultural figures, and a deeply felt tribute.
Sigrid Nunez was an aspiring writer when she first met Susan Sontag, already a legendary figure known for her polemical essays, blinding intelligence, and edgy personal style. Sontag introduced Nunez to her son, the writer David Rieff, and the two began dating. Soon Nunez moved into the apartment that Rieff and Sontag shared. As Sontag told Nunez, Who says we have to live like everyone else?”
Sontags influence on Nunez, who went on to become a successful novelist, would be profound. Described by Nunez as a natural mentor” who saw educating others as both a moral obligation and a source of endless pleasure, Sontag inevitably infected those around her with her many cultural and intellectual passions. In this poignant, intimate memoir, Nunez speaks of her gratitude for having had, as an early model, someone who held such an exalted, unironic view of the writers vocation.”
Published more than six years after Sontags death, Sempre Susan is a startlingly truthful portrait of this outsized personality, who made being an intellectual a glamorous occupation.
From an award-winning author comes a "wise and richly humane coming-of-age novel" (O: The Oprah Magazine).
In an American landscape devastated by a flu pandemic, orphaned thirteen-year-old Cole is rescued by an evangelical couple. Adjusting to a new life, he struggles with memories of the past. As other survivors become dedicated to their own vision of utopia, Cole imagines a wholly different future for himself.
Written in Sigrid Nunez's deceptively simple style, Salvation City is a story of love, betrayal, and forgiveness, blending the deeply affecting story of a young boy's transformation with a profound meditation on belief, heroism, and the true meaning of salvation.
About the Author
Sigrid Nunez is the author of the novels Salvation City,
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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age