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Synopses & Reviews
From the celebrated author of The English Patient and In the Skin of a Lion comes a remarkable new novel of intersecting lives that ranges across continents and time.
In the 1970s in Northern California, near Gold Rush country, a father and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, work their farm with the help of Coop, an enigmatic young man who makes his home with them. Theirs is a makeshift family, until it is riven by an incident of violence—of both hand and heart—that sets fire to the rest of their lives.
Divisadero takes us from the city of San Francisco to the raucous backrooms of Nevadas casinos and eventually to the landscape of south-central France. It is here, outside a small rural village, that Anna becomes immersed in the life and the world of a writer from an earlier time—Lucien Segura. His compelling story, which has its beginnings at the turn of the century, circles around “the raw truth” of Annas own life, the one shes left behind but can never truly leave. And as the narrative moves back and forth in time and place, we discover each of the characters managing to find some foothold in a present rough hewn from the past.
Breathtakingly evoked and with unforgettable characters, Divisadero is a multilayered novel about passion, loss, and the unshakable past, about the often discordant demands of family, love, and memory. It is Michael Ondaatjes most intimate and beautiful novel to date.
"'Davis (American Splendor) reads Ondaatje's puzzle of a novel delicately, as if hesitant to jostle a single piece out of place. Often playing emotionally frazzled characters on screen, Davis is far more understated here in offering up Ondaatje's hybrid narrative — one that goes from 1970s San Francisco to early 20th-century France, linking past and present with loose tendrils of memory and history. She does a fine job with the tricky French names and nomenclature, and puts her natural gifts as an actor to good use with her subtle, understated, well-oiled reading. Davis still sounds as no-nonsense as ever, but her skilled reading offers a good deal more patience and tenderness than her often-testy characters do. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 16). (June)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
At the twilight of his career, a faded newspaperman makes the find of a lifetime in a Chicago basement: diaries belonging to the infamous Judith Campbell Exner, one-time paramour to some of the most powerful men in America. When Frank Sinatra flew Judy to Hawaii for a weekend, she could hardly have imagined where it would lead her: straight to the White House and the waiting arms of Jack Kennedy. And then came the day that JFK and his brother Bobby sent her to Chicago, where she was to hand a black bag to the boss of bosses, Sam Giancana. As the reporter fashions Judys diary entries into a coherent story, he finds mob connections, rigged primaries, and assassination plotsand begins to see beyond the tabloid fare to a real woman, adrift and defenseless in a dangerous world where the fates of nations are at stake.
Who was Exner, after all? Just a gangsters moll? Or a bighearted woman who believed the sky-high promises of the New Frontierand paid the price?
About the Author
FREDERICK TURNER is the author of many works of nonfiction and two novels, and is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.
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