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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this mesmerizing novel, Ethan Canin, the author of America America and The Palace Thief, explores the nature of genius, rivalry, ambition, and love among multiple generations of a gifted family. Milo Andret is born with an unusual mind. A lonely child growing up in the woods of northern Michigan in the 1950s, he gives little thought to his own talent. But with his acceptance at U.C. Berkeley he realizes the extent, and the risks, of his singular gifts. California in the seventies is a seduction, opening Milo’s eyes to the allure of both ambition and indulgence. The research he begins there will make him a legend; the woman he meets there—and the rival he meets alongside her—will haunt him for the rest of his life. For Milo’s brilliance is entwined with a dark need that soon grows to threaten his work, his family, even his existence. Spanning seven decades as it moves from California to Princeton to the Midwest to New York, A Doubter’s Almanac tells the story of a family as it explores the way ambition lives alongside destructiveness, obsession alongside torment, love alongside grief. It is a story of how the flame of genius both lights and scorches every generation it touches. Graced by stunning prose and brilliant storytelling, A Doubter’s Almanac is a surprising, suspenseful, and deeply moving novel, a major work by a writer who has been hailed as “the most mature and accomplished novelist of his generation.” Praise for A Doubter’s Almanac “551 pages of bliss . . . devastating and wonderful . . . dazzling . . . You come away from the book wanting to reevaluate your choices and your relationships. It’s a rare book that can do that, and it’s a rare joy to discover such a book.”—Esquire “[Canin] is at the top of his form, fluent, immersive, confident. You might not know where he’s taking you, but the characters are so vivid, Hans’s voice rendered so precisely, that it’s impossible not to trust in the story. . . . The delicate networks of emotion and connection that make up a family are illuminated, as if by magic, via his prose.”—Slate “Alternately explosive and deeply interior.”—New York (“Eight Books You Need to Read”) “A blazingly intelligent novel.”—Los Angeles Times “[A] beautifully written novel.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice) “A book that raises the bar for novelists.”—Literary Hub “No knowledge of proofs or theorems is required to enjoy Ethan Canin’s excellent eighth novel. He alternately treats math like elegant poetry or infuses it with crackling energy.”—The Christian Science Monitor “Math made beautiful . . . Canin writes with such luxuriant beauty and tender sympathy that even victims of Algebra II will follow his calculations of the heart with rapt comprehension.”—The Washington Post “A masterful writer at his transcendent best.”—BBC “Elegant and devastating . . . A Doubter’s Almanac is exquisitely crafted. Canin takes us readers deep into the strange world of his troubled characters without ever making us aware of the effort involved. . . . An odd and completely captivating novel.”—NPR’s Fresh Air “Dazzlingly ambitious . . . one part intellectual thriller, one part domestic saga.”—The Huffington Post From the Hardcover edition.
The flame of genius scorches every generation it touches. Following a lonely upbringing in the woods of northern Michigan, Milo Andret enrols as a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley, where the faculty is the first to recognize that the young man's childhood solitude has created a prodigiously unusual mind. Yet with Milo's great gifts come great risks, and California in the seventies is rife with temptation. The research he begins at Berkeley will make him a legend; the woman, and the rival he meets, will haunt him forever. For it soon becomes clear that Milo's brilliance is linked to a dark need that ultimately threatens to destroy not only his work and his marriage, but the lives of all his children, as well. A Doubter's Almanac is at once a captivatingly virtuoso illustration of the powers of the mind and a deeply moving exploration of the nature of love, ambition and genius. It is a novel of flawed characters and unreachable dreams, of bonds that tie and passions that destroy; a major work of dazzling and seductive beauty from one of our foremost writers.
"Milo Andret, the genius who solved the Malosz Conjecture and won the Fields Medal for mathematics, had an unusual, even eerie mind from birth, but not until he moves to Berkeley in the 1970s to pursue a ph.D. does he realize the extent of his singular talents. From the drug-soaked enclaves of beatnik California to the verdant lawns of Princeton University, from turbo-charged Wall Street to the quiet woods of Michigan, his reputation as one of the century's most brilliant thinkers forms the backbone of asweeping, epic story about family, love, passion, and Milo's fraught relationship with his son. With magnificent prose and enormous storytelling magic, Ethan Canin gives us a suspenseful, original novel about the nature of genius, and a son's quest to understand the mystery of his father's life, and its legacy in his own"--
How vanity, greatness and tragedy combine to change history and fate is at the heart of Ethan Canin's remarkable America America.
EMPEROR OF THE AIR "explores tricky family relationships and tender moments of self-discovery with a voice of compassion rarely found in contemporary short fiction" (San Francisco Chronicle). Whether his characters are struggling to save trees in their yards, their marriages, or themselves, Cannin renders their moments of revelation with rich observation, energy, humor, and grace.
The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author weaves an ingenious, darkly humorous, and brilliantly observant story that follows the exploits and intrigue of a constellation of characters affiliated with an off-off-off-off Broadway children’s musical. Mister Monkey—a screwball children’s musical about a playfully larcenous pet chimpanzee—is the kind of family favorite that survives far past its prime. Margot, who plays the chimp’s lawyer, knows the production is dreadful and bemoans the failure of her acting career. She’s settled into the drudgery of playing a humiliating part—until the day she receives a mysterious letter from an anonymous admirer . . . and later, in the middle of a performance, has a shocking encounter with Adam, the twelve-year-old who plays the title role. Francine Prose’s effervescent comedy is told from the viewpoints of wildly unreliable, seemingly disparate characters whose lives become deeply connected as the madcap narrative unfolds. There is Adam, whose looming adolescence informs his interpretation of his role; Edward, a young audience member who is candidly unimpressed with the play; Ray, the author of the novel on which the musical is based, who witnesses one of the most awkward first dates in literature; and even the eponymous Mister Monkey, the Monkey God himself. With her trademark wit and verve, Prose delves into humanity’s most profound mysteries: art, ambition, childhood, aging, and love. Startling and captivating, Mister Monkey is a breathtaking novel from a writer at the height of her craft.
A collection of novellas features characters who are trying to understand why their lives have taken such surprising turns.