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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos comes a sweeping historical novel set amid the skyscrapers of 1890s Chicago and the far-flung islands of the South Pacific. In the waning years of the nineteenth century there was a hunger for tribal artifacts, spawning collecting voyages from museums and collectors around the globe. In 1897, one such collector, a Chicago insurance magnate, sponsors an expedition into the South Seas to commemorate the completion of his company's new skyscraper--the world's tallest building. The ship is to bring back an array of Melanesian weaponry and handicrafts, but also several natives related by blood. Caught up in this scheme are two orphans—Owen Graves, an itinerant trader from Chicago's South Side who has recently proposed to the girl he must leave behind, and Argus Niu, a mission houseboy in the New Hebrides who longs to be reunited with his sister. At the cusp of the twentieth century, the expedition forces a collision course between the tribal and the civilized, between two young men plagued by their respective and haunting pasts. An epic and ambitious story that brings to mind E. L. Doctorow, with echoes of Melville and Robert Louis Stevenson, Bright and Distant Shores is a wondrous achievement by a writer known for creating compelling fiction from the fabric of history.
A sweeping work of historical fiction from the New York Times–bestselling author Dominic Smith, The Electric Hotel is a spellbinding story of art and love. For more than thirty years, Claude Ballard has been living at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel. A French pioneer of silent films who started out as a concession agent for the Lumière brothers, the inventors of cinema, Claude now spends his days foraging for mushrooms in the hills of Los Angeles and taking photographs of runaways and the striplings along Sunset Boulevard. But when a film history student comes to interview Claude about The Electric Hotel—the lost masterpiece that bankrupted him and ended the career of his muse, Sabine Montrose—the past comes surging back. In his run-down hotel suite, the ravages of the past are waiting to be excavated: celluloid fragments in desperate need of restoration, as well as Claude’s memories of the woman who inspired and beguiled him. The Electric Hotel is a portrait of a man entranced by the magic of moviemaking, a luminous romance, and a whirlwind trip through early cinema. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
Longlisted for the 2017 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction In the 1600s Sara de Vos loses her young daughter suddenly to illness. In her grief, she secretly begins painting a dark landscape of a girl watching a group of ice skaters from the edge of a wood. In 1950s New York, Martijn de Groot has At the Edge of a Wood hanging above his bed. Though it is a dark, peculiar painting, he holds it dear and when it is stolen, he is bereft. In Brooklyn, struggling art student Ellie Shipley accepts a commission to paint an intricate forgery of the painting, not realising that her decision will come to haunt her successful academic career. Gorgeously written, brilliantly conceived and executed, filled with tension and revelation, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is one of those rare books that stops time as you read it. This is a novel you will want to revisit for the sheer pleasure of watching a master at work.
The Bird and The Elephant is a poetic philosophical journey that starts with a chance encounter between and a bird and (that’s right, you guessed it!) an elephant. Join their journey as they step through the jungle talking their way through ten philosophical subjects.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Elizabeth and Jackson Shore married young, raised two daughters, and weathered the storms of youth as they built a family. From a distance, their lives look picture perfect. But after the girls leave home, Jack and Elizabeth quietly drift apart. When Jack accepts a wonderful new job, Elizabeth puts her own needs aside to follow him across the country. Then tragedy turns Elizabeth’s world upside down. In the aftermath, she questions everything about her life—her choices, her marriage, even her long-forgotten dreams. In a daring move that shocks her husband, friends, and daughters, she lets go of the woman she has become—and reaches out for the woman she wants to be.
'This unusual, gorgeously written novel is filled with pleasures . . . [it is] an invitation to wonder--about the imponderables of life and death, the nature of intelligence and the ultimately inexplicable relationships of fathers and sons.' Booklist A dazzling novel from the bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, winner of the 2017 Indie Prize for Literary Fiction. Nathan Nelson is the average son of a genius. His father, a physicist of small renown, has prodded him toward greatness from an early age, but despite Samuel Nelson's efforts Nathan remains ordinary. Then, in the summer of 1987, everything changes. Nathan is involved in a terrible accident and falls into a coma. When he awakens, he finds that everyday life is radically different. His perceptions of sight, sound and memory have been irrevocably changed. The doctors and his parents fear permanent brain damage, but the truth of his condition is more unexpected and leads to a renewed chance for Nathan to find his place in the world. Thinking that his son's altered brain is worthy of serious inquiry, Samuel arranges for Nathan to attend a research centre where savants, prodigies and neurological misfits are studied and their specialties applied. Immersed in this strange atmosphere--where an autistic boy can tell you what day Christmas falls on in 3026 but can't tie his shoelaces--Nathan begins to unravel the mysteries of his new mind and finally makes peace with the crushing weight of his father's expectations. A brilliant exploration of the fault lines that can cause a family to drift apart, the unexpected events that can pull them back together and a 'luminous addition to novels about fathers and sons' (Kirkus Reviews).

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