New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year
In a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of 9/11, and left alone after his English wife and son return to London, Hans van den Broek stumbles upon the vibrant New York subculture of cricket, where he revisits his lost childhood and, thanks to a friendship with a charismatic and charming Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon, begins to reconnect with his life and his adopted country. As the two men share their vastly different experiences of contemporary immigrant life in America, an unforgettable portrait emerges of an "other" New York populated by immigrants and strivers of every race and nationality.
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Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Joseph O'Neill
Joseph O’Neill was born in Ireland and raised in Holland. He received a law degree from Cambridge University and worked as a barrister in London. He writes regularly for The Atlantic Monthly and is the author of two previous novels, This Is the Life and The Breezes, and of a family history, Blood-Dark Track, which was a New York Times Notable Book. O'Neill received the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his third novel, Netherland. He lives with his family in New York City.
Question: President Obama mentioned in a New York Times Magazine profile that he’s reading Netherland. How do you feel about the President reading your book?
Joseph O'Neill: I'm very honored, of course.Question: How is the world of Netherland particular to the United States after 9/11?
Joseph O'Neill: The story takes place in the aftermath of 9/11. One of the things it does is try to evoke the disorientation and darkness of that time, which we only emerged from with the election of President Obama.Question: What is the importance of the sport of cricket in this book? Do you play?
Joseph O'Neill: I love sport and play cricket and golf myself. Sport is a wonderful way to bring together people who would otherwise have no connection to each other.Question: One of your reviewers calls Netherland an answer to The Great Gatsby. Were you influenced by Fitzgerald’s book, and was your book written with that book in mind?
Joseph O'Neill: Halfway through the book I realized with a slightly sinking feeling that the plot of Netherland was eerily reminiscent of the Gatsby plot: dreamer drowns, bystander remembers. But there are only about 5 plots in existence, so I didn't let it bother me too much. Fitzgerald thankfully steered clear of cricket.Question: Many reviewers have commented on the “voice” of this novel. How it is more a novel of voice than of plot? Do you agree with this?
Joseph O'Neill: Yes, I would agree with that comment. This is not a novel of eventful twists and turns. It is more like a long-form international cricket match (which can last for 5 days without a winner emerging), about nuance and ambiguity and small slippages of insight. And about language, of course.
(Photo © Lisa Acherman)About the Author:
Joseph O’Neill was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1964 and grew up in Mozambique, South Africa, Iran, Turkey, and Holland. His previous works include the novels This Is the Life and The Breezes and the nonfiction book Blood-Dark Track, a family history centered on the mysterious imprisonment of both his grandfathers during World War II, which was a New York Times Notable Book. He writes regularly for The Atlantic Monthly. He lives with his family in New York City.
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Book Description Vintage, 2009. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "With echoes of The Great Gatsby.Joseph O'Neill's stunning new novel provides a resonant meditation on the American Dream." Michiko Kakutani,The New York Times "Masterly. Exquisitely written. One of the most remarkable post-colonial novels I have ever read. O'Neill is the writer this city has been awaiting." James Wood,The New Yorker "Elegant. Always sensitive and intelligent, Netherland tells the fragmented story of a man in exilefrom home, family and, most poignantly, from himself." Washington Post Book World "I devoured it in three thirsty gulps.that satisfied a craving I didn't know I had.Netherlandhas more life inside it than ten very good novels." Dwight Garner,The New York Times Book Review "A wonderful read." Jonathan Safran Foer "Haunting. O'Neill's elegant prose makes for a striking read." Entertainment Weekly "A beautifully written meditation on despair, loss, and exile." USA Today "Remarkable. Note-perfect." Vogue "Outstanding. A coming-of-middle-age tale." Newsweek "O'Neill's writing is unendingly beautiful." The Los Angeles Times "Brilliant. A post9/11 novel that takes us closer to understanding the emotional wreckage." GQ "Provocative, luminous. A fine, darkly glowing novel." The Boston Globe "A dense, intelligent novel. O'Neill offers an outsider's view of New York bursting with wisdom, authenticity, and a sobering jolt of realism." Publisher's Weekly(starred review) "O'Neill writes a prose of Banvillean grace and beauty, shimmering with truthfulness, as poised as it is unsettling. He is a master of the long sentence, of the half-missed moment, of the strange archaeology of the troubled marriage. Many have tried to write a great American novel. Joseph O'Neill has succeeded." Joseph O'Connor, author ofStar of the Sea "Somewhere between the towns of Saul Bellow and Ian McEwan, O'Neill has pitched his miraculous tent.Netherlandis a novel about provisionality, marginality; its registers are many, one of the most potent being its extremely grown-up nostalgia. The dominant sense is of aftermath, things flying off under the impulse of an unwanted explosion, and the human voice calling everything back." Sebastian Barry, author ofA Long Long Way. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0307388778
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