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1 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

Mary Coin


Mary Coin Cover

ISBN13: 9780399160707
ISBN10: 0399160701
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Only 1 left in stock at $9.50!




At first she thought someone had released a flock of birds into the room. The museum gallery whispered with the sound of wings and flight and she thought of the starlings wheeling through the flat Oklahoma sky, a solid flag of them waving in the currents of a wind. Was that seventy years ago? More?...
A child’s cry broke through. Mary, always keen to a child’s distress, turned towards the sound. And there, across the room, hung the familiar charcoal gray shapes of the image that shadowed her life….
The gallery had grown quieter and, for a moment, Mary was alone with the picture. She saw her reflection in the glass. There they were. Two women named Mary Coin. If they met on the street in the high heat of a summer’s afternoon, they would be polite in the old fashioned way to show they meant one another no harm. “Hello,” they would say in passing. “My, but isn’t it a wretched day?”

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ikram, April 16, 2013 (view all comments by ikram)
This is an excellent book, one of the best three or four novels I'll read this year. Marisa Silver has crafted a first rate story out of what I would have thought was a slim and rather daft idea, basing a novel on an iconic Depression-era photograph. But ideas come from who-knows-where, and as long as there is passion and talent behind them, a lot can achieved. That's what happens with Mary Coin.

Mary Coin covers eighty years of life in Oklahoma and California. It is at its heart a very American book although its style and subject matter remind me a lot of Thomas Hardy's descriptions of people managing their hard lives in British rural landscapes. Mary Coin is a dark story painted with a fine brush. If you enjoy precision in writing and craft in story telling, I'd highly recommend this novel.
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Product Details

Silver, Marisa
Blue Rider Press
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Mary Coin Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Blue Rider Press - English 9780399160707 Reviews:
"Review" by , Mary Coin is quite simply one of the best novels I have read in years. 'You'll know who you are when you start losing things,' says one character, and the story burns in this quietly emphatic way, only to erupt in moments of excruciating pain and beauty. In her portrayal of a time in American history when survival was often a day-to-day thing, Silver drills down to the absolute essentials: family, love, loss, the perpetual uncertainty of life. Again and again I found myself wondering: How does she know that? Silver's wisdom is rare, and her novel is the work of a master."
"Review" by , “Marisa Silver renders the soul of an iconic image, giving it moving life. Mary Coin is a soaring work of imagination, dedication and history.”
"Review" by , “An extraordinarily compassionate and wise novel, Mary Coin imagines the life of Dorothea Lange's iconic 'Migrant Mother.' What emerges, in Silver's nuanced, resonant telling, is a poignant exploration of a single life that touches many others, and a powerful, moving portrait of America during the Great Depression. Silver is one of those preternaturally gifted writers who can with the lightest of touches make the reader enter a world that feels as fully real as the one around us.”
"Review" by , “Inspired by Migrant Mother, the iconic Depression-era photograph snapped by Dorothea Lange in 1936, Silver reimagines the lives of both the photographer and the subject...this dual portrait investigates the depths of the human spirit, exposing the inner reserves of will and desire hidden in both women....The luminously written, heart-wrenching — yet never maudlin — plot moves back and forth through time, as history professor Walker Dodge unpeels the layers of the photographs hidden truths.”
"Review" by , “[A] superb new novel....Silver's acute observations and understated style are evident here as are her matter-of-fact, unapologetic characters....mesmerizing...Silver has crafted a highly imaginative story that grabs the reader and wont let go. A must-read for Silver fans that is sure to win over many new followers; the acclaimed authors best work to date.”
"Synopsis" by , In her decades-spanning new novel, Mary Coin, acclaimed author Marisa Silver (The God of War) gives us a brilliant reimagining of the anonymous woman pictured in Dorothea Lange’s iconic “Migrant Mother” photograph.
"Synopsis" by , In 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, photographer Dorothea Lange took a photograph for the Federal Resettlement Program that would become the most iconic image of that unforgettable time in American history. Her subject was Florence Owens Thompson, a thirty-two-year-old Native American and mother of seven, whose arresting face became the defining symbol of American poverty. Mary Coin is a novel inspired by that photograph.

Three vibrant characters anchor Mary Coin: the migrant mother herself; Vera Dare, the young photographer wrestling with ambition and the lingering effects of childhood Polio, who is forced to abandon her own children in order to work; and Walker Dodge, a present-day professor of cultural archeology, who discovers a secret to his family history in the picture. In luminous, exquisitely observed prose, author Marisa Silver deftly weaves the few known facts of the famous photograph and its subject with a captivating plot and multigenerational narrative, and burnishes this remarkable fiction with profound explorations of memory and identity. Though we want to believe a great photograph will capture the essence of its subject, an image, in the end, only scratches the surface of the truth.

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