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The Selected Works of T. S. Spivetby Reif Larsen
Synopses & Reviews
A brilliant, boundary-leaping debut novel tracing twelve-year-old genius map maker T.S.Spivet's attempts to understand the ways of the world
When twelve-year-old genius cartographer T.S. Spivet receives an unexpected phone call from the Smithsonian announcing he has won the prestigious Baird Award, life as normal-if you consider mapping family dinner table conversation normal-is interrupted and a wild cross-country adventure begins, taking T.S. from his family ranch just north of Divide, Montana, to the museum's hallowed halls.
T.S. sets out alone, leaving before dawn with a plan to hop a freight train and hobo east. Once aboard, his adventures step into high gear and he meticulously maps, charts, and illustrates his exploits, documenting mythical wormholes in the Midwest, the urban phenomenon of rims, and the pleasures of McDonald's, among other things. We come to see the world through T.S.'s eyes and in his thorough investigation of the outside world he also reveals himself.
As he travels away from the ranch and his family we learn how the journey also brings him closer to home. A secret family history found within his luggage tells the story of T.S.'s ancestors and their long-ago passage west, offering profound insight into the family he left behind and his role within it. As T.S. reads he discovers the sometimes shadowy boundary between fact and fiction and realizes that, for all his analytical rigor, the world around him is a mystery.
All that he has learned is tested when he arrives at the capital to claim his prize and is welcomed into science's inner circle. For all its shine, fame seems more highly valued than ideas in this new world and friends are hard to find.
T.S.'s trip begins at the Copper Top Ranch and the last known place he stands is Washington, D.C., but his journey's movement is far harder to track: How do you map the delicate lessons learned about family and self? How do you depict how it feels to first venture out on your own? Is there a definitive way to communicate the ebbs and tides of heartbreak, loss, loneliness, love? These are the questions that strike at the core of this very special debut.
This brilliant, boundary-leaping debut novel traces 12-year-old genius map-maker T.S. Spivet's attempts to understand the ways of the world.
Discover The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet for iPad.
A boundary-leaping debut tracing a gifted young map maker’s attempt to understand the ways of the world
When twelve-year-old genius cartographer T. S. Spivet receives an unexpected phone call from the Smithsonian announcing he has won the prestigious Baird Award, life as normal—if you consider mapping dinner table conversations normal—is interrupted and a wild cross-country adventure begins, taking T. S. from his family home just north of Divide, Montana, to the museum’s hallowed halls.
There are some answers here on the road from Divide and some new questions, too. How does one map the delicate lessons learned about family or communicate the ebbs and flows of heartbreak, loneliness, and love?
About the Author
Reif Larson studied at Brown University and has taught at Columbia University, where he received his MFA in fiction. He is also a filmmaker and has made documentaries in the United States, the United Kingdom, and sub-Saharan Africa. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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