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All That Is (Vintage International)by James Salter
In what may be his finest work yet, Salter's aptly named book charts one man's far-reaching path in life as well as the lives that intersect it. Through spare prose Salter tackles big topics — war, sex, literature — with wisdom and finesse.
Synopses & Reviews
An extraordinary literary event, a major new novel by the PEN/Faulkner winner and acclaimed master: a sweeping, seductive, deeply moving story set in the years after World War II.
From his experiences as a young naval officer in battles off Okinawa, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. It is a time when publishing is still largely a private affair — a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe — a time of gatherings in fabled apartments and conversations that continue long into the night. In this world of dinners, deals, and literary careers, Bowman finds that he fits in perfectly. But despite his success, what eludes him is love. His first marriage goes bad, another fails to happen, and finally he meets a woman who enthralls him — before setting him on a course he could never have imagined for himself.
Romantic and haunting, All That Is explores a life unfolding in a world on the brink of change. It is a dazzling, sometimes devastating labyrinth of love and ambition, a fiercely intimate account of the great shocks and grand pleasures of being alive.
“A crowning achievement....If there were a Mount Rushmore for writers, [Salter] would be there already.” The New York Times Book Review
“Magnificent....A major literary event....Salter, who has the gift of writing sentences that exactly reproduce what we feel and think in the moment we feel and think it, moves beyond that incomparable skill and does something even more difficult: He gives us his heart.” The Huffington Post
“Magical....A plaintive, impressionistic look at how we live in time.” The Washington Post
“Vividly sketched....Salter’s surprising, striking grace is there in every scene....Breathtaking.” Chicago Tribune
“Intimate, rueful and finely observed.” Time
“A writer of tremendous ability....An absolute stunner.” The Christian Science Monitor
“Shimmering....Intoxicating....Few can match Salter’s depictions of life’s physical pleasures, the sheer sensual delight of being in this world....All That Is will last.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Exquisite....A mature, unsentimental story of one man’s restless search for love....[Salter] captures the angst of the privileged classes who seem to have all anyone could desire and yet long for something that lies just out of reach....Effortlessly beautiful.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A much-anticipated occasion....The book feels very true, even if the lives of the characters are quite different from our own.” The Seattle Times
“A sexy, bittersweet story.” Los Angeles Times
“Salter [is] looking like the last exponent of a particular strain of 20th-century American fiction, deeply informed by the aspirations of postwar America....He stands poised for a victory lap.” The Village Voice
“Salter is par excellence the explorer of depths, a diver seeking the hidden, vital wellsprings of our consciousness....[He’s] done as much as any American writer to give us the sense of what it actually feels like to be alive and gripped by the fever of existence.” The Dallas Morning News
“You come away from [Salter’s] work wondering if you should have lived more, even if living more, in his work, often leads to ruin.” The New Yorker
“Salter is a brilliant writer....[All That Is is a] journey led by a true master of the written word....Intensely beautiful.” Associated Press
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book
An NPR "Great Reads" Book
The eagerly-anticipated new novel from PEN/Faulkner winner James Salter, his first in over thirty years. From the battlefields of Okinawa to the publishing houses of New York, All That Is follows one man’s life — and loves — as it unfolds in a world on the brink of change.
About the Author
James Salter is the author of numerous books, including the novels Solo Faces, Light Years, A Sport and a Pastime, The Arm of Flesh (revised as Cassada), and The Hunters; the memoirs Gods of Tin and Burning the Days; the collections Dusk and Other Stories, which won the 1989 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Last Night, which won the Rea Award for the Short Story and the PEN/Malamud Award; and Life Is Meals: A Food Lover’s Book of Days, written with Kay Salter. He lives in New York and Colorado.
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