A Marker To Measure Drift

Hardcover | July 30, 2013

byAlexander Maksik

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Alexander Maksik's electrifying novel tracks a woman's journey from the horrors of Charles Taylor's Liberia to abject poverty and self-exile on a Greek island, where she must grapple with a haunted past and find a way back into human society.

On an island somewhere in the Aegean, Jacqueline, a young Liberian woman, veers between starvation and satiety, between the brutality of her past and the precarious uncertainty of her present in the aftermath of experiences so unspeakable that she prefers homeless numbness to the psychological confrontation she knows is inevitable. Hypnotic, highly sensual, exquisitely written, and extraordinary in its depiction of both pleasure and pain, of excruciating physical and spiritual hungers, A Marker to Measure Drift is a novel about memory, how we live with what we know, and whether and how we go forward, intact and whole, after the ravages of loss. It is beautiful, lacerating, impossible to put down. A breakthrough work from a prodigiously gifted young writer.

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From the Publisher

Alexander Maksik's electrifying novel tracks a woman's journey from the horrors of Charles Taylor's Liberia to abject poverty and self-exile on a Greek island, where she must grapple with a haunted past and find a way back into human society.On an island somewhere in the Aegean, Jacqueline, a young Liberian woman, veers between starvat...

Alexander Maksik is the author of the novels You Deserve Nothing (Europa, 2011) and A Marker to Measure Drift (Knopf, 2013). His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper’s, Tin House, Harvard Review, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Condé Nast Traveler, Salon and Narrative Magazine, ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.54 × 6 × 0.95 inPublished:July 30, 2013Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385679173

ISBN - 13:9780385679176

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Haunting Story Albeit, a little confusing at times, this book was overall very well written. The story line was very interesting and haunting. The way the author described the various settings made me feel like I was there with Jacqueline. This story is one that will not be forgotten for a very long time. I finished this book in two days...it was that good :)
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written A stunning story. Haunted by her life and losses in Liberia, a woman exists alone on a Greek island, pushed on by the voice of her mother to seek her meaning. In the end, it is her own voice that must speak its truths. But her journey to find that is staggering in its simple courage. A story not easily forgotten.
Date published: 2013-09-13

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Editorial Reviews

“Maksik's brilliance is evident.” —Winnipeg Free Press“No novel I read this year affected me more powerfully than Alexander Maksik’s A Marker to Measure Drift”—Richard Russo“Maksik has produced a bold book, and an instructive one. . . .[he] has illuminated for us with force and art an all too common species of suffering—grievous, ugly and, unfortunately, a perennial.”—Norman Rush, The New York Times Book Review“A fever dream of a novel. . . .One might linger over most of this book, rereading particularly beautiful passages. Yet the ending is so compelling and visceral that one rushes until the fever breaks, dazed and haunted by its power.”—Chicago Tribune“Poetic, often mesmerizing. . . .A Marker to Measure Drift is about compassion; perhaps it’s even a masterclass in compassion. . . .Maksik does not take sides or make judgments. He is simply aware that his job as a novelist is to talk to us about something that we ought to know. . . .And to move us deeply in the process.—The Sydney Morning Herald“Moving, painful and beautiful. It will change you.”—Booklist“Beautiful. . . .It will leave you breathless and speechless; it will send you reeling.”—The San Francisco Chronicle“Immensely powerful. . . .Beautifully written. . . .Jacqueline is a mesmerizing heroine. . . .She is alive on the page from the outset, and with each paragraph she deepens, grows more complicated. Clearer and yet more mysterious. . . .Maksik brings Jacqueline’s tale to a devastating finale.”—The Boston Globe“Haunting and sensual, Maksik’s prose deftly intertwines the tenderness and torment of memory with the hard reality of searching for sustenance and shelter.”—Harper’s“Gorgeously written, tightly wound, with language as precise as cut glass, Alexander Maksik’s A Marker to Measure Drift is a tour de force. Maksik renders the soul of his heroine, a Liberian refugee, with stark honesty so that we understand both the brutality of what she has run from and the terror she experiences as she tries to build her life back. I was undone by this novel. I challenge anyone to read it and not come away profoundly changed.”—Marisa Silver, author of The God of War“A Marker to Measure Drift is spellbinding. In its tenderness, grandeur and austerity, it reminds us that there is no country on earth as foreign, as unreachable, as the frantic soul of another human being.”—Susanna Sonnenberg, author of Her Last Death“A mesmerizing novel about a woman pushed to the limits of human experience. Maksik combines James Salter’s gift for seductive sentences with a real mastery of character and story. A beautiful, tender piece of literature which just happens to be a page-turner too.”—Jonathan Lee, author of Joy“The writing is extraordinary. And when I say extraordinary, I don't mean it's pretty or gorgeous for gorgeousness' sake. Maksik, he's really getting down deep into . . . the nature of human experience and the nature of love and the nature of loss. And line by line, the power accumulates in this book kind of like a stealth tsunami. And by the end of it, you feel like you've really been through something.” —Ben Fountain (NPR)“A moving, deeply felt and lyrical novel about past and present.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)“. . . a story that resonates on many levels, the impermanence of life, the perils of solitude, the futility of running from the past.” —Idaho Mountain Express “This is a harrowing portrayal of the aftermath of war on a young woman.” — The Independent (UK)“Patient readers will be rewarded by Maksik’s gorgeous and evocative prose.” —Publisher’s Weekly