The House of Widows: An Oral History

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9781555974916: The House of Widows: An Oral History

A novel of intrigue that is played across decades, continents, and generations by the celebrated, New York Times Notable author of Ambassador of the Dead

Late one night, a week after Father's suicide, I finished sweeping the bulk of my inheritance into four giant trash bags, and heaved them into the Dumpster at the construction site around the corner from his apartment. Then I sat down at the two-person coffee table in the middle of his kitchen, the fluorescent light loud as cicadas, and examined the three
things I'd kept.

The three things that James kept are his father's British military uniform, an oversize glass jar, and a letter written in a language he can't read. They become the keys to unlocking the door on a past James never imagined while growing up amid the security of Boston's north shore, and they send him on an odyssey across England, Austria, and Ukraine. Along the way, he meets his dying aunt Vera, the matriarch of a mysterious branch of the family. His mission puts him face-to-face with the international sex trade, a displaced Palestinian girl with streaked pink hair and attitude to spare, and a violent world in which he is ultimately implicated. From old America, new Europe, and the timeless Middle East, James learns what it means to live in the webbed world of the twenty-first century.

In The House of Widows, Askold Melnyczuk offers a searing exploration of the individual's role in the inexorable assault of history.

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About the Author :

Askold Melnyczuk is the director of creative writing at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author of two other novels, What Is Told and Ambassador of the Dead. He also teaches in the Graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College.

From Publishers Weekly :

Melnyczuk's ambitious third novel is a soulful noir about the damaging effects of history on one man's psyche. Cynical historian James Pak lives in Vienna and is still deeply affected by his father Andrew's suicide 16 years ago, and his confessional narrative, told mostly in flashbacks, fills the reader in on why he's still reeling. Just after Andrew's death, James takes possession of three of his dead father's belongings (a letter written in an unfamiliar language, a glass jar and military identification papers) and sets out to exhume his father's past. His pilgrimage leads him from Boston to England, Austria and Ukraine, and entangles him with Andrew's childhood friend, Marian, and her charge, Selena, a Palestinian woman with a twisted backstory. James encounters a branch of his father's family he never knew existed, and as he discovers the significance of the jar and military papers and the contents of the letter, his family's hidden past comes into sharp focus. James is a strikingly observant and literate guide to a world full of unsavory characters and nearly devoid of joy. Melnyczuk (What Is Told; Ambassador of the Dead) doesn't let anyone—especially the reader—off easy. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Description du livre Graywolf Press, United States, 2008. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A novel of intrigue that is played across decades, continents, and generations by the celebrated, New York Times Notable author of Ambassador of the Dead Late one night, a week after Father s suicide, I finished sweeping the bulk of my inheritance into four giant trash bags, and heaved them into the Dumpster at the construction site around the corner from his apartment. Then I sat down at the two-person coffee table in the middle of his kitchen, the fluorescent light loud as cicadas, and examined the three things I d kept. The three things that James kept are his father s British military uniform, an oversize glass jar, and a letter written in a language he can t read. They become the keys to unlocking the door on a past James never imagined while growing up amid the security of Boston s north shore, and they send him on an odyssey across England, Austria, and Ukraine. Along the way, he meets his dying aunt Vera, the matriarch of a mysterious branch of the family. His mission puts him face-to-face with the international sex trade, a displaced Palestinian girl with streaked pink hair and attitude to spare, and a violent world in which he is ultimately implicated. From old America, new Europe, and the timeless Middle East, James learns what it means to live in the webbed world of the twenty-first century. In The House of Widows, Askold Melnyczuk offers a searing exploration of the individual s role in the inexorable assault of history. N° de réf. du libraire BTE9781555974916

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