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The Expeditions


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Reading Group Guide

Author of the acclaimed short story collection On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction, Karl Iagnemmas (pronounced yon-YEM-ma) prize-winning fiction has captured the imaginations of readers coast to coast. In his debut novel, The Expeditions, Iagnemma takes us on a remarkable journey through the wilderness of nineteenth-century Michigan, where an estranged father and son trek toward a bittersweet reunion. Sixteen-year-old runaway Elisha Stone has joined a dubious expedition through rugged terrain, assisting a zealot who is determined to unlock an ancient secret about the Indians' origins. Hundreds of miles away, in small-town Massachusetts, Elishas father grapples with the death of his wife, unsure how to find their son and deliver the news of her passing. Determined to bring about a reconciliation before his own health fades, Reverend Stone sets out to see Elisha once more, immersing himself in a hardscrabble world of thieves and fortunetellers-and discovering a wellspring of wisdom and grace in the process. A masterwork by one of the literary worlds brightest rising stars, The Expeditions will enthrall you at every turn.

The questions and discussion topics that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Karl Iagnemmas The Expeditions. We hope they will enrich your experience of this mesmerizing novel.

Product Details

Iagnemma, Karl
Dial Press
Historical - General
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7.50x4.50x1.00 in. .60 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Expeditions Used Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Dial Press - English 9780385335966 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

From Karl Iagnemma, recipient of the Paris Review Plimpton Prize, comes this fierce and gorgeous novel, the story of an estranged father and son's unlikely wanderings through the Upper Peninsula of nineteenth-century Michigan.

The year is 1844. Sixteen-year-old runaway Elisha Stone has turned up in Detroit, a hardscrabble frontier town on the edge of the civilized world. Lighting out on a surveying expedition for the vast unknown wilderness of the northern peninsula, Elisha pens a heartfelt letter to his mother in Newell, Massachusetts. But it is Elisha's estranged father, the Reverend William Edward Stone, who opens the envelope. Grief-stricken by the recent death of his wife--a death Elisha could not have known about--Reverend Stone is jolted into action. He must find his son. What follows is a powerful narrative about the complex love between fathers and sons and an evocative portrait of an era of faith, wonder, and violence. A first novel of uncommon wisdom, The Expeditions is the confirmation of an extraordinary talent.

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