400 pages, 9.2 × 6.28 × 1.02 in
May 7, 2013
Random House of Canada
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307362620
ISBN - 13: 9780307362629
From the Publisher
LONGLISTED 2015 – International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
A novel of unflinching honesty, gutting humanity, haunting detail, and beautiful, raw hope dangling like a bare bright light in a basement.
A haunting novel set in a nearly abandoned hospital in war-torn Chechnya that is both intimate and ambitious in scope. Eight-year-old Havaa, Akhmed, the neighbour who rescues her after her father's disappearance, and Sonia, the doctor who shelters her over 5 dramatic days in December 2004, must all reach back into their pasts to unravel the intricate mystery of coincidence, betrayal and forgiveness which unexpectedly binds them and decides their fate.
In his bold debut, Anthony Marra proves that sometimes fiction can tell us the truth of the world far better, and far more powerfully, than any news story. You will not forget the world he creates--A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and its characters will haunt you long after you turn the final page.
About the Author
Anthony Marra is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Narrative Prize, and his work has been anthologized in Best American Nonrequired Reading. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Stegner Fellow, he now teaches at Stanford University. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, his first novel, will be translated into over a dozen languages.
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLERFINALIST 2013 – Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel PrizeLONGLISTED 2013 – National Book AwardWINNER 2013 – NBCC John Leonard PrizeFINALIST 2014 – Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers AwardWINNER 2014 – ABA Indies Choice Award for Book of the Year—Adult Debut“The book encompasses torture, infidelity, heartbreak and human trafficking, but also love, friendship, family and humour. Marra doesn’t gloss over the horrors of the Chechen wars. But he doesn’t dwell either, and despite the subject matter, this is not an exclusively dark book. In his afterword, Marra acknowledges a debt to Michael Ondaatje. Like Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost, Vital Phenomena is about the gaps left behind by the forcibly disappeared. It’s a difficult subject for fiction, but one Marra manages with a voice that approaches something like the gauzy beauty of Ondaatje’s prose.” —Maclean’s “The simplest life cannot precisely be put down in details or marks on a page—the spirit fundamentally escapes language, if only because we can’t pronounce the words. Nonetheless, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena proves that if anything, it’s better, more beautiful and necessary to keep trying.” —Emily M. Keeler, The Globe and Mail “Some good novels catch fire immediately, as if a writer had simply opened a Zippo lighter. Others come into being more gradually. The author cautiously tends to his or her kindling. Anthony Marra’s first novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, belongs to the second category.