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*** Granta Best of Young American Novelists 2017 *** In a snow-covered village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as her father is abducted in the middle of the night by Russian soldiers. Their life-long friend and neighbour, Akhmed, has also been watching, and when he finds Havaa he knows of only one person who might be able to help. For tough-minded doctor Sonja Rabina, it’s just another day of trying to keep her bombed-out, abandoned hospital going. When Akhmed arrives with Havaa, asking Sonja for shelter, she has no idea who the pair are. But over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja’s world will shift on its axis, revealing the intricate pattern of connections that binds these three unlikely companions together and unexpectedly decides their fate. 'A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is simply spectacular' Ann Patchett
A Granta Best Young American Novelist 1930s Leningrad: a failed portrait artist employed by Soviet censors must erase political dissenters from official images and artworks. One day, he receives an antique painting. The mystery behind this painting threads together each of the stories that follow, where we meet a Siberian beauty queen, a young soldier in the battlefields of Chechnya, the Head of the Grozny Tourist Bureau, a ballerina performing for the camp director of a gulag and many others.
Chosen as a BOOK OF THE YEAR in the Sunday Times, Stylist and Observer 'A multifaceted novel that is funny, verbally inventive and moving' Sunday Times, Book of the Year 'In Mercury Pictures Presents . . . the story moves between the real war and the better version Hollywood is busy creating. Sometimes tragic, often hilarious' KAREN JOY FOWLER, Observer, Books of the Year 'Its prose pulses with humour, wit and affection' Mail on Sunday The epic tale of a brilliant woman who must reinvent herself to survive, moving from Mussolini's Italy to 1940s Los Angeles-a timeless story of love, deceit, and sacrifice from the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Like many before her, Maria Lagana has come to Hollywood to outrun her past. Born in Rome, where every Sunday her father took her to the cinema instead of church, Maria immigrates with her mother to Los Angeles after a childhood transgression leads to her father's arrest. Fifteen years later, on the eve of America's entry into World War II, Maria is an associate producer at Mercury Pictures, trying to keep her personal and professional lives from falling apart. Her mother won't speak to her. Her boss, a man of many toupees, has been summoned to Washington by congressional investigators. Her boyfriend, a virtuoso Chinese American actor, can't escape the studio's narrow typecasting. And the studio itself, Maria's only home in exile, teeters on the verge of bankruptcy. Over the coming months, as the bright lights go dark across Los Angeles, Mercury Pictures becomes a nexus of European émigrés: modernist poets trying their luck as B-movie screenwriters, once-celebrated architects becoming scale-model miniaturists, and refugee actors finding work playing the very villains they fled. While the world descends into war, Maria rises through a maze of conflicting politics, divided loyalties, and jockeying ambitions. But when the arrival of a stranger from her father's past threatens Maria's carefully constructed facade, she must finally confront her father's fate - and her own. Written with intelligence, wit, and an exhilarating sense of possibility, Mercury Pictures Presents is a love letter to life's bit players, a panorama of an era that casts a long shadow over our own, and a tour de force by a novelist whose work The Washington Post calls 'a flash in the heavens that makes you look up and believe in miracles'.
From the author of National Book Award longlist selection and New York Times bestseller A Constellation of Vital Phenomena come these dazzling, poignant and lyrical interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war and the redemptive power of art. This stunning, exquisitely written collection introduces a cast of remarkable characters whose lives intersect in ways both life-affirming and heartbreaking. A 1930s Soviet censor painstakingly corrects offending photographs, deep underneath Leningrad, bewitched by the image of a disgraced prima ballerina. A chorus of women recount their stories and those of their grandmothers, former gulag prisoners who settled their Siberian mining town. Two pairs of brothers share a fierce, protective love. Young men across the former USSR face violence at home and in the military. And great sacrifices are made in the name of an oil landscape unremarkable except for the almost incomprehensibly peaceful past it depicts. In stunning prose, with rich character portraits and a sense of history reverberating into the present, The Tsar of Love and Techno is a captivating work from one of our greatest new talents.
James Dawes defines a new, dynamic American literary genre, which takes as its theme a range of atrocities at home and abroad. This vibrant and modern genre incorporates key debates within the human rights movement in the U.S. and in turn influences the ideas and rhetoric of that discourse.
"General reading strategies and teacher-developed questions will only take our students so far—with our approach, students gain astounding independence because they engage directly with the nonfiction author, and with how that author used specific details (moves) and structures to communicate meanings and effects." —Wilhelm and Smith All nonfiction is a conversation between the writer and the reader, an invitation to agree or disagree with compelling and often provocative ideas about some aspect of the world we live in. At the end of the day, it’s our responsibility to decide if the argument is sound. With Diving Deep Into Nonfiction, Jeffrey D. Wilhelm and Michael W. Smith deliver a revolutionary teaching framework that helps students read well by noticing the rules and conventions of this dynamic exchange. The classroom-tested lessons include engaging short excerpts and teach students to be powerful readers who know both how authors signal what’s worth noticing in a text and how readers connect and make meaning of what they have noticed. No matter what they are reading, students learn to be on high alert, and highly curious about how texts work and what they mean, as they learn to notice direct statements of principle, calls to attention, ruptures, and readers’ rules of notice: Notice the topics and the textual conversation: Who is speaking and how might he or she be responding to another’s ideas? What is the idea that gives "heat" to this text? Notice key details: What attracts my attention? How does the author signal both direct and implicit statements of meaning? How does the author use the unexpected? How can I interpret patterns of key details to see overall meanings? Notice varied nonfiction genres: What are the essential features of this kind of text? How does the author employ them? What effects are they designed to have on the reader? Notice text structure: How does the author structure the text to connect details and ideas? What patterns of thought does the author use along the way? With Diving Deep Into Nonfiction, Wilhelm and Smith upend current practices, and it’s high time. Once your students engage with these lessons, you’ll never go back to the same old tired approach— and reading across content areas enters a whole new era.
This book offers a fresh perspective on timeless questions concerning anarchy and order, power and principle, and public and private morality, by taking a novel approach to the study of the onset of war. Rather than looking at the distribution of wealth, military might, or other material capabilities to explain the onset of war, this book focuses instead on how international norms affect the use of military force. Critical of the realist assumption that international legal norms are unable to curb hostilities without a powerful central authority to enforce their injunctions, it contends that the normative context within which national leaders act sets the tone for world politics by communicating commonly accepted understandings about the limits of permissible action. Using quantitative analyses of the relationships between war-initiation norms and various types of armed conflict, the author calls into question realist beliefs regarding international norms, demonstrating that restrictive normative orders reduce the likelihood of war.