A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

byAnthony Marra

Paperback | May 7, 2013

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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 ...
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Une constellation de phénomènes vitaux
Une constellation de phénomènes vitaux

by Anthony Marra


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Een stelsel van elementaire levensvoorwaarden
Een stelsel van elementaire levensvoorwaarden

by Anthony Marra


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Details & Specs

Title:A Constellation of Vital PhenomenaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9.2 × 6.28 × 1.02 inPublished:May 7, 2013Publisher:Random House Of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307362620

ISBN - 13:9780307362629

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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. It’s a slow burn….  The strange and invigorating thing about Mr. Marra’s novel…is how much human warmth and comedy he smuggles, like samizdat, into his busy story. At heart he’s a satirist, a lover not a fighter, a prose writer who resembles the Joseph Heller of Catch-22 and the Jonathan Safran Foer of Everything Is Illuminated. Mr. Marra’s humor floats most freely in his dialogue, which is both acidic and surreal. If novel writing does not work out for him, he might easily become a world-class playwright…. Mr. Marra is a lovely writer about families…. He is, in fact, a lovely writer about many things…. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is ambitious and intellectually restless. It’s humane and absurd, and rarely out of touch with the Joseph-Heller-like notion that, as Mr. Marra puts it, ‘stupidity was the single abiding law of the universe.’” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times Book Review  “A complex debut.... [Marra writes] with elegant details about the physical and emotional destruction of occupation and war.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)