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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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The Translation of Dr Apelles: A Love Story

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The Translation of Dr Apelles: A Love Story Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A daring new novel that "may be David Treuer's best book" (Charles Baxter).

Dr Apelles, Native American translator of Native American texts, lives a diligent existence. He works at a library and, in his free time, works on his translations. Without his realizing it, his world has become small. One day he stumbles across an ancient manuscript only he can translate. What begins as a startling discovery quickly becomes a vital quest—not only to translate the document but to find love. Through the riddle of Dr Apelles's heart, The Translation of Dr Apelles explores the boundaries of human emotion, charts the power of the language to both imprison and liberate, and maps the true dimensions of the Native American experience. As Dr Apelles's quest nears its surprising conclusion, the novel asks the reader to speculate on whose power is greater: The imaginer or the imagined? The lover or the beloved?

In this brilliant mystery of letters in the tradition of Calvino, Borges, and Saramago, David Treuer excavates the persistent myths that belittle the contemporary Native American experience and lays bare the terrible power of the imagination.

Review:

"The intertwining of two love stories results in a strangely compelling take on matters of the heart in Treuer's third novel (after The Hiawatha). Dr. Apelles, a Native American who translates Native American texts, works as a book classifier for RECAP (Research Collections and Preservations), a 'prison for books' located near an unnamed American city. While at the local public library, Dr. Apelles finds a manuscript that he begins translating. The story-within-a-story is of Bimaadiz and Eta, sole surviving infants of separate villages wiped out by a devastating winter. Discovered by different men from the same tribe, the children are adopted by their saviors, reared together as friends and eventually fall in love. Dr. Apelles, while translating the story, realizes his life is unfulfilling, so he begins a love affair with a fellow book classifier, Campaspe, that parallels Bimaadiz's and Eta's. Treuer obscures time and place in both storylines, and though neither the plots nor characters are remarkable, the author's beautiful prose — Flaubert in some places, Chekhov in others — grabs and holds attention so well that even the narrative contrivances and unlikely coincidences don't diminish the pleasurable reading experience. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"In the middle of one of the most gripping action sequences in the 'Aeneid,' Virgil deliberately calls attention to the artificiality of the story he is telling. It occurs in Book II, in the account of the sack of Troy. Virgil first says the Trojan horse is made of fir; a hundred lines later, he says it's made of maple; next it turns to oak; and, still later, it's pine. Not only does the horse's protean... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"A novel that is so intellectually rigorous and emotionally stirring, we've already told everyone who will listen to read it." Time Out Chicago

Review:

"The satisfied sigh you utter when you read the last sentence is neither silly nor a delusion of sentiment." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"By novel's end, readers will understand that they have been engaged by some audacious literary legerdemain. In this story about how hearts are inscribed with love (and love lost), Treuer has messed with your mind." Seattle Times

Synopsis:

A daring new novel that "may be David Treuer's best book" (Charles Baxter)

He realizes he has discovered a document that could change his life forever.

Dr Apelles, Native American translator of Native American texts, lives a diligent existence. He works at a library and, in his free time, works on his translations. Without his realizing it, his world has become small. One day he stumbles across an ancient manuscript only he can translate. What begins as a startling discovery quickly becomes a vital quest--not only to translate the document but to find love. Through the riddle of Dr Apelles's heart, The Translation of Dr Apelles explores the boundaries of human emotion, charts the power of the language to both imprison and liberate, and maps the true dimensions of the Native American experience. As Dr Apelles's quest nears its surprising conclusion, the novel asks the reader to speculate on whose power is greater: The imaginer or the imagined? The lover or the beloved?

In this brilliant mystery of letters in the tradition of Calvino, Borges, and Saramago, David Treuer excavates the persistent myths that belittle the contemporary Native American experience and lays bare the terrible power of the imagination.

About the Author

David Treuer is Ojibwe from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. He is the award-winning author of two previous novels, Little and The Hiawatha. He teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Minnesota.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781555974510
Author:
Treuer, David
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Indians of north america
Subject:
Translators
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20060831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.21 x 6.51 x 1.185 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Translation of Dr Apelles: A Love Story New Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages Graywolf Press - English 9781555974510 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The intertwining of two love stories results in a strangely compelling take on matters of the heart in Treuer's third novel (after The Hiawatha). Dr. Apelles, a Native American who translates Native American texts, works as a book classifier for RECAP (Research Collections and Preservations), a 'prison for books' located near an unnamed American city. While at the local public library, Dr. Apelles finds a manuscript that he begins translating. The story-within-a-story is of Bimaadiz and Eta, sole surviving infants of separate villages wiped out by a devastating winter. Discovered by different men from the same tribe, the children are adopted by their saviors, reared together as friends and eventually fall in love. Dr. Apelles, while translating the story, realizes his life is unfulfilling, so he begins a love affair with a fellow book classifier, Campaspe, that parallels Bimaadiz's and Eta's. Treuer obscures time and place in both storylines, and though neither the plots nor characters are remarkable, the author's beautiful prose — Flaubert in some places, Chekhov in others — grabs and holds attention so well that even the narrative contrivances and unlikely coincidences don't diminish the pleasurable reading experience. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A novel that is so intellectually rigorous and emotionally stirring, we've already told everyone who will listen to read it."
"Review" by , "The satisfied sigh you utter when you read the last sentence is neither silly nor a delusion of sentiment."
"Review" by , "By novel's end, readers will understand that they have been engaged by some audacious literary legerdemain. In this story about how hearts are inscribed with love (and love lost), Treuer has messed with your mind."
"Synopsis" by ,
A daring new novel that "may be David Treuer's best book" (Charles Baxter)

He realizes he has discovered a document that could change his life forever.

Dr Apelles, Native American translator of Native American texts, lives a diligent existence. He works at a library and, in his free time, works on his translations. Without his realizing it, his world has become small. One day he stumbles across an ancient manuscript only he can translate. What begins as a startling discovery quickly becomes a vital quest--not only to translate the document but to find love. Through the riddle of Dr Apelles's heart, The Translation of Dr Apelles explores the boundaries of human emotion, charts the power of the language to both imprison and liberate, and maps the true dimensions of the Native American experience. As Dr Apelles's quest nears its surprising conclusion, the novel asks the reader to speculate on whose power is greater: The imaginer or the imagined? The lover or the beloved?

In this brilliant mystery of letters in the tradition of Calvino, Borges, and Saramago, David Treuer excavates the persistent myths that belittle the contemporary Native American experience and lays bare the terrible power of the imagination.

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