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- Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

About Grace

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About Grace Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Chapter 1

He made his way through the concourse and stopped by a window to watch a man with two orange wands wave a jet into its gate. Above the tarmac the sky was faultless, that relentless tropic blue he had never quite gotten used to. At the horizon, clouds had piled up: cumulus congestus, a sign of some disturbance traveling along out there, over the sea.

The slim frame of a metal detector awaited its line of tourists. In the lounge: duty-free rum, birds of paradise sleeved in cellophane, necklaces made from shells. From his shirt pocket he produced a notepad and a pen.

The human brain, he wrote, is seventy-five percent water. Our cells are little more than sacs in which to carry water. When we die it spills from us into the ground and air and into the stomachs of animals and is contained again in something else. The properties of liquid water are this: it holds its temperature longer than air; it is adhering and elastic; it is perpetually in motion. These are the tenets of hydrology; these are the things one should know if one is to know oneself.

He passed through the gate. On the boarding stairs, almost to the jet, a feeling like choking rose in his throat. He clenched his duffel and clung to the rail. A line of birds — ground doves, perhaps — were landing one by one in a patch of mown grass on the far side of the runway. The passengers behind him shifted restlessly. A flight attendant wrung her hands, reached for him, and escorted him into the cabin.

The sensation of the plane accelerating and rising was like entering a vivid and perilous dream. He braced his forehead against the window. The ocean widened below the wing; the horizon tilted, then plunged. The plane banked and the island reemerged, lush and sudden, fringed by reef. For an instant, in the crater of Soufrière, he could see a pearly green sheet of water. Then the clouds closed, and the island was gone.

The woman in the seat next to him had produced a novel and was beginning to read. The airplane climbed the troposphere. Tiny fronds of frost were growing on the inner pane of the window. Behind them the sky was dazzling and cold. He blinked and wiped his glasses with his sleeve. They were climbing into the sun.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143036166
Author:
Doerr, Anthony
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Dreams
Subject:
Fathers and daughters
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Caribbean area
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20050931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
7.72x5.10x.77 in. .58 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

About Grace New Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143036166 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A compelling protagonist and a lyrical style grounded in precise observation of the physical world...[a] complex, ambitious first novel....A bold attempt...by a gifted writer whose own future looms promisingly indeed."
"Review" by , "Doerr's characters pale in comparison with the natural world he so powerfully portrays around them."
"Review" by , "About Grace is a taut, gorgeously written odyssey of heartbreak and self-forgiveness. It is indeed about grace — what happens when we have found it yet manage to lose it — and about so much more: the power of love, the power of grief, and above all the power of dreams."
"Review" by , "About Grace is a stunning meditation on chance and pattern, exile and home. Gorgeous, transporting, and deeply, deeply satisfying. Equal parts science and magic (but all of it magical)."
"Review" by , "I loved this wonderful book — its strangeness, its obsessiveness, its beautiful sentences."
"Review" by , "Like a gazetteer of a singular existence, About Grace is worldly — it takes place in Alaska, Ohio, the Caribbean — yet the story and its unusual hero, David Winkler, right away become fixed in a reader's attentions and stay there. About Grace is full of exacting dreams, marvelous incident, tragicomic underpinnings, and a dedication to the fundamental eccentricity of life. With the stories in The Shell Collector, we discovered a writer of immense talent; this novel gives us a sense that Mr. Doerr may become an indispensable one."
"Review" by , "This mesmerizing novel is pitch perfect...utterly unforgettable."
"Review" by , "One of those novels that works its way into your very dreams."
"Review" by , "A beautiful and expansive novel....As I neared the end, I read more and more slowly, increasingly reluctant to leave him and his intricately imagined world behind."
"Review" by , "Doerr has a way of saying the ordinary in a way that makes you rethink the way the English language is used. The way he can take a paragraph to describe a sunset or fireworks in the sky without using one superfluous word is impressive. Not many writers can pull it off."
"Review" by , "Doerr's beautiful writing carries the book."
"Synopsis" by , From an award-winning author whose first collection of stories was "as close to faultless as any writer — young or vastly experienced — could wish for" (Los Angeles Times) — comes an astonishingly beautiful, wise, and heartbreaking novel.
"Synopsis" by ,
When Anthony Doerr's The Shell Collector was published in 2002, the Los Angeles Times called his stories "as close to faultless as any writer—young or vastly experienced—could wish for." He won the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Discover Prize, Princeton's Hodder Fellowship, and two O. Henrys, and shared the Young Lions Award. Now he has written one of the most beautiful, wise, and compelling first novels of recent times.

David Winkler begins life in Anchorage, Alaska, a quiet boy drawn to the volatility of weather and obsessed with snow. Sometimes he sees things before they happen—a man carrying a hatbox will be hit by a bus; Winkler will fall in love with a woman in a supermarket. When David dreams that his infant daughter will drown in a flood as he tries to save her, he comes undone. He travels thousands of miles, fleeing family, home, and the future itself, to deny the dream.

On a Caribbean island, destitute, alone, and unsure if his child has survived or his wife can forgive him, David is sheltered by a couple with a daughter of their own. Ultimately it is she who will pull him back into the world, to search for the people he left behind.

Doerr's characters are full of grief and longing, but also replete with grace. His compassion for human frailty is extraordinarily moving. In luminous prose, he writes about the power and beauty of nature and about the tiny miracles that transform our lives. About Grace is heartbreaking, radiant, and astonishingly accomplished.

 

"Synopsis" by , Anthony Doer‛s short-story collection The Shell Collector was praised by the Los Angeles Times as being“as close to faultless as any writer—young or vastly experienced—could wish for” One of the finest young writers today, Doerr has the ability to not only spin beautiful prose but also keep readers captivated with his imagination and fully realized characters. With About Grace, he delivers one of the wisest and most compelling first novels of recent times. In luminous prose, Doerr tells the story of David Winkler, a man graced with the gift of premonition and plagued by a dream that foretells his daughte‛s death. Ranging from Alaska to Ohio to the Caribbean, About Grace is a heartbreaking, radiant, and astonishingly accomplished novel about the tiny but lifesaving miracles happening around us at each moment.
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