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Genesisby Jim Crace
Synopses & Reviews
A major new novel about sex and the citizen by the award-winning author of Being Dead
The timid life of actor Felix Dern is uncorrupted by Hollywood, where his success has not yet been shackled with any intrusive fame. But in the theaters and the restaurants of his own city, "Lix" is celebrated and admired for his looks, for his voice, and for his unblemished private life. He has succeeded in courting popularity everywhere, this handsome hero of the left, this charming darling of the right, this ever-twisting weather vane.
A perfect life? No, he is blighted. He has been blighted since his teens, for every woman he sleeps with bears his child. So now it is Mouetta's turn. Their baby's due in May. Lix wants to say he feels besieged. Another child? To be so fertile is a curse...
In Genesis, Jim Crace, winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award and the Whitbread Novel of the Year, charts the sexual history of a loving, baffled man, the sexual emancipation of a city, and the sexual ambiguities of humankind.
"Jim Crace's hypnotic eighth novel is in many ways more nightmarish than his brilliant National Book Critics Circle Award-winning 2000 novel Being Dead ....As with Crace's other books, the universe Genesis inhabits is recognizable as our own, but slightly askew. (It's set in the City of Kisses, whose zoning restrictions are nothing if not Orwellian.) In Genesis, Crace illuminates the dark corners of unconsciousness and desire, proving yet again that he's one of the strangest, and most daring, writers of his generation." Adrienne Miller, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)
"[A] honeyed, sometimes overripe novel....Genesis initially appears more audacious and inventive than it turns out to be....
"Though the effect is somewhat muted by the essentially one-note theme, in the end, the reader's realization that Lix is an exemplar of the common man...is what gives the narrative its memorable metaphorical impact." Publishers Weekly
"[A]nother dazzling, imaginative feast from this British author....It's no secret by now that Crace is one of England's finest. His prose is rich yet lean as he dives into life's chaos, surfacing, every time, with the mot juste." Kirkus Reviews
"Genesis is a creation myth of sorts, complete with a flood and a less-confusing list of begats. Crace...continues to be an eclectic writer of original and compelling stories." Benjamin Segedin, Booklist
"[P]erfectly pleasant but enigmatic....Lix is a likable enough fellow whom the reader wants to see happy and attached, and most anything by Crace is at least worth a look for readers of modern literature." Library Journal
"Crace may be the most original and interesting of living British writers." Richard Eder, The New York Times
The winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award and the Whitbread Novel of the Year charts the sexual history of a loving, baffled man, the sexual emancipation of a city, and the sexual ambiguities of humankind.
Actor Felix "Lix" Dern seems to lead the perfect life. Handsome and charming, he's adored and admired by his fans for his looks, for his voice, for his talent, and for his unblemished private life. He has succeeded in courting popularity everywhere — he's the hero of the left and the darling of the right, an ever-twisting weather vane who is celebrated wherever he goes.
But Lix guards a secret he believes has blighted his existence since he was a teenager: every woman he sleeps with eventually bears his child. Soon to be a father for the sixth time, Lix feels besieged. To be so fertile is a curse. With this sixth birth looming, he finds himself forced to focus on his ambivalent relationships with the mothers of his other children, from the women with whom he's had brief affairs to those he's loved, like unassuming, quietly determined Alicia or outspoken, audacious Freda. These musings lead him in turn to consider his interactions with his children, and his often complicated connection to their lives.
In this darkly humorous story, Jim Crace charts the sexual history of a loving, baffled man, the sexual emancipation of a city, and the sexual ambiguities of humankind.
About the Author
Jim Crace is the author of seven previous novels, including Being Dead (FSG, 2000) which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, and, most recently, The Devil's Larder (FSG, 2001). He lives in Birmingham, England.
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