Mary Coin: A Novel

Paperback | February 25, 2014

byMarisa Silver

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Bestselling author Marisa Silver takes Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother photograph as inspiration for a story of two women—one famous and one forgotten—and their remarkable chance encounter.
 
In 1936, a young mother resting by the side of the road in central California is spontaneously photographed by a woman documenting migrant laborers in search of work. Few personal details are exchanged and neither woman has any way of knowing that they have produced one of the most iconic images of the Great Depression. In present day, Walker Dodge, a professor of cultural history, stumbles upon a family secret embedded in the now-famous picture. In luminous prose, Silver creates an extraordinary tale from a brief event in history and its repercussions throughout the decades that follow—a reminder that a great photograph captures the essence of a moment yet only scratches the surface of a life.

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From the Publisher

Bestselling author Marisa Silver takes Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother photograph as inspiration for a story of two women—one famous and one forgotten—and their remarkable chance encounter. In 1936, a young mother resting by the side of the road in central California is spontaneously photographed by a woman documenting migrant laborers in search of work. Few personal details are exchanged and neit...

Marisa Silver is the author of the novels The God of War (a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist) and No Direction Home; and two story collections, Alone With You and Babe in Paradise (a New York Times Notable Book and Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year). She lives in Los Angeles.

other books by Marisa Silver

Alone With You: Stories
Alone With You: Stories

Paperback|Apr 5 2011

$15.00

The God of War: A Novel
The God of War: A Novel

Kobo ebook|Apr 29 2008

$16.99

Little Nothing
Little Nothing

Kobo ebook|Sep 13 2016

$18.99

see all books by Marisa Silver
Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8 × 5.5 × 0.73 inPublished:February 25, 2014Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142180785

ISBN - 13:9780142180785

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it !! Wow, what a great story. Really go into the lives of all of the characters. The one complaint - if you can call it that - is that the writer left the 'return of Walker' a bit late in the story, I couldn't remember who he was. It did finally 'click' and I understand the background on everyone and why they appeared and reappeared when they did.
Date published: 2015-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read. Recommend highly.
Date published: 2014-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book sure puts ones own lifes troubles into perspective. This was a very enjoyable read. One of those books that make you look at your own life and troubles and truly appreciate the time we live in.
Date published: 2014-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Modern Day Grapes of Wrath Based on an iconic American photo, "The Migrant Mother", this book fictionalizes the tale behind the photograph. The story is told from the perspective of the mother in the photo, the photographer, and a photography historian. They all share similar struggles in their own personal lives, and their lives are interwoven in fascinating ways which are revealed as the book unfolds. As I neared the end, I couldn't put it down. It reminded me of The Grapes of Wrath in its frankness, although not quite as raw. If you like books about human struggle and fortitude, you will enjoy Mary Coin.
Date published: 2013-12-15

Extra Content

Read from the Book

At first she thought someone had released a flock of birds into the room. The museum gallery whispered with the sound of wings and flight and she thought of the starlings wheeling through the flat Oklahoma sky, a solid flag of them waving in the currents of a wind. Was that seventy years ago? More?... A child’s cry broke through. Mary, always keen to a child’s distress, turned towards the sound. And there, across the room, hung the familiar charcoal gray shapes of the image that shadowed her life…. The gallery had grown quieter and, for a moment, Mary was alone with the picture. She saw her reflection in the glass. There they were. Two women named Mary Coin. If they met on the street in the high heat of a summer’s afternoon, they would be polite in the old fashioned way to show they meant one another no harm. “Hello,” they would say in passing. “My, but isn’t it a wretched day?”