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The Sun and Other Starsby Brigid Pasulka
Synopses & Reviews
Brigid Pasulka's PEN/Hemingway award-winning debut novel was compared to the works of Jonathan Safran Foer by the New York Times and hailed by Elle as "storytelling that gets under your skin and forces you to press copies into your best friends' hands." Now The Sun and Other Stars, Pasulka's extraordinary second novel, is all that and more: a profound, compelling, and big-hearted masterpiece that showcases an exquisite writer at the joyful height of her talents.
In the seaside village of San Benedetto, a resort town on the Italian Riviera, twenty-two-year-old Etto finds himself adrift. Within the past year, Etto has not only lost both his twin brother and his mother, but in his grief has become estranged from his father, the local butcher. While his father passes the time with the men of the town in the fine tradition of Italian men everywhere — a reverential obsession with soccer — Etto retreats ever further from his day-to-day life, seeking solace in the hills above the town.
But then a Ukrainian soccer star, the great Yuri Fil, sweeps into San Benedetto, taking refuge himself from an international scandal. Soon Yuri and his captivating tomboy sister Zhuki invite Etto into their world of sport, celebrity, loyalty, and humor. Under their influence, Etto begins to reconstruct his relationship with his father and, slowly, open himself back up to the world. Who knows: perhaps the game of soccer isn't just a waste of time, and perhaps San Benedetto, his father, love, and life itself might have more to offer him than he ever believed possible.
The Sun and Other Stars is a gorgeous, celebratory tale about families, compromise, and community, and about how losses can be transformed into hope. Irresistible and unforgettable, it is a shimmering miracle of a book.
"With a magician's sleight of hand, Brigid Pasulka once again conjures up a stunning chorus of characters....The Sun and Other Stars is storytelling at it's best, and Pasulka has made magic with this wise, poignant tale of love, community, and the sport that brings them all together!" Gail Tsukiyama, author of The Samurai's Garden
"[A] heartwarming second novel from award-winning writer Pasulka....[She] scores a refreshing success with her affectionate portrait of a small-town community and her fresh angle on an aching heart." Kirkus Reviews
"Poetic....A beautiful story rich in detail and authenticity." Booklist
"[A] celebration of young love, sunshine and la dolce vita..." O, The Oprah Magazine, Editor's Pick
"How in the world did I just lose my heart to the entire village of San Benedetto, to its butchers and playboys and slackers and, most of all, its large population of swaggering elderly (mea culpa) soccer fans? Or maybe the question is this: How can a story about unbearable grief be so funny, so bawdy, so vibrant with the earthy joys of ordinary life? To that one, I know the answer: when it is told by someone with the uncommon wit of the fearless, tender, wise Brigid Pasulka. The Sun and Other Stars is, as its title promises, a wondrous and radiant novel." Julia Glass, author of The Widower's Tale and Three Junes
Set in a seaside village on the Italian Riviera, this irresistible new novel by PEN/Hemingway Award-winner Brigid Pasulka tells the story of a widowed butcher and his son whose losses are transformed into love.
After losing his brother and mother within a year, twenty-two-year-old Etto finds himself adrift in his hometown, where every man's life revolves around soccer, except for his. Frustrated and lonely, Etto is faced with the seemingly impossible prospect of cobbling together the remaining pieces of his life, including his mostly nonexistent relationship with his father, the town butcher.
Things begin to change for Etto when Yuri Fil, a scandal-ridden Ukrainian soccer star and his tough-love sister, Zhuki, arrive in town, and sweep him into their universe of soccer, celebrity, laughter, and fierce loyalty. Under their influence, Etto begins to reconstruct his relationship with his father and learns a few life lessons: that perhaps the game of soccer isn't just a waste of time — and that San Benedetto, his father, love, and life itself might have more to offer him than he ever believed possible.
About the Author
Brigid Pasulka's debut novel, A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True, won the 2010 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Pasulka currently lives in Chicago with her husband and runs the writing center at a public high school. Visit her website at BrigidPasulka.com.
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