The Time Traveler's Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger

Knopf Canada | June 15, 2004 | Trade Paperback

4.4839 out of 5 rating. 217 Reviews
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New York Times Bestseller

Today Show Book Club Selection


Audrey Niffenegger''s innovative debut, The Time Traveler''s Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

The Time Traveler's Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare''s marriage and their passionate love for each other, as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals -- steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 560 pages, 3.15 × 2.04 × 0.5 in

Published: June 15, 2004

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676976336

ISBN - 13: 9780676976335

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– More About This Product –

The Time Traveler's Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 560 pages, 3.15 × 2.04 × 0.5 in

Published: June 15, 2004

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676976336

ISBN - 13: 9780676976335

Read from the Book

PROLOGUE Clare: It''s hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he’s okay. It’s hard to be the one who stays. I keep myself busy. Time goes faster that way. I go to sleep alone, and wake up alone. I take walks. I work until I’m tired. I watch the wind play with the trash that’s been under the snow all winter. Everything seems simple until you think about it. Why is love intensified by absence? Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. Now I wait for Henry. He vanishes unwillingly, without warning. I wait for him. Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting. Why has he gone where I cannot follow? Henry: How does it feel? How does it feel? Sometimes it feels as though your attention has wandered for just an instant. Then, with a start, you realize that the book you were holding, the red plaid cotton shirt with white buttons, the favorite black jeans and the maroon socks with an almost-hole in one heel, the living room, the about-to-whistle tea kettle in the kitchen: all of these have vanished. You are standing, naked as a jaybird, up to your ankles in ice water in a ditch along an unidentified rural route. You wait a minute to see if maybe you will just snap right back to your book, your apartment, et cetera
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From the Publisher

New York Times Bestseller

Today Show Book Club Selection


Audrey Niffenegger''s innovative debut, The Time Traveler''s Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

The Time Traveler's Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare''s marriage and their passionate love for each other, as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals -- steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

About the Author

Audrey Niffenegger is a visual artist and a professor in the Interdisciplinary Book Arts MFA Program at the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, where she teaches writing, letterpress printing, and fine edition book production. She shows her artwork at Printworks Gallery in Chicago. The Time Traveler's Wife is her first novel.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

“Highly original first novel…Niffenegger has written a soaring love story illuminated by dozens of finely observed details and scenes…It is a fair tribute to [Niffenegger’s] skill and sensibility to say that the book leaves a reader with the impression of life’s riches and strangeness rather than of easy thrills.” — Publishers Weekly , starred review “An enchanting novel…beautifully crafted and as dazzlingly imaginative as it is dizzyingly romantic.” —Scott Turow “[This] inventive and poignant writing is well worth a trip.” — Entertainment Weekly “A powerfully original love story … [An] amazing trip.” — People “Niffenegger creates real characters with flawed, human, loving characteristics and with real and extraordinary problems….Niffeneger succeeds in telling a tender tale of love and allows the reader to rediscover an old fascination with the idea of time travel.” — Winnipeg Free Press “Beguiling, original debut… A delight.” — The Bookseller, star choice “This is an ambitious book…it can in its best moments enthrall and engage. It’s an unabashed, well-written love story.” — The Globe and Mail “Niffenegger keeps her readers’ attention with a faultless ear for dialogue and with the freshness of her premise.” — National Post “[An] oddly compelling and original form
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Bookclub Guide

1. In The Time Traveler's Wife, the characters meet each other at various times during their lifetime. How does the author keep all the timelines in order and "on time"?

2. Although Henry does the time traveling, Clare is equally impacted. How does she cope with his journeys and does she ultimately accept them?

3. How does the writer introduce the reader to the concept of time travel as a realistic occurrence? Does she succeed?

4. Henry's life is disrupted on multiple levels by spontaneous time travel. How does his career as a librarian offset his tumultuous disappearances? Why does that job appeal to Henry?

5. Henry and Clare know each other for years before they fall in love as adults. How does Clare cope with the knowledge that at a young age she knows that Henry is the man she will eventually marry?

6. The Time Traveler's Wife is ultimately an enduring love story. What trials and tribulations do Henry and Clare face that are the same as or different from other "normal" relationships?

7. How does their desire for a child affect their relationship?

8. The book is told from both Henry and Clare's perspectives. What does this add to the story?

9. Do you think the ending of the novel is satisfactory?

10. Though history there have been dozens of mediums used for time travel in literature. Please site examples and compare The Time Traveler's Wife to the ones with which you are familiar.




From the Hardcover edition.
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