In this astonishingly assured, exquisitely crafted debut collection, Anthony Doerr takes readers from the African coast to the suburbs of Ohio, from sideshow pageantry to harsh wilderness survival, charting a vast and varied emotional landscape. Like the best storytellers, Doerr explores the human condition in all its manifestations: metamorphosis, grief, fractured relationships, and slowly mending hearts. Most dazzling is Doerr's gift for conjuring nature in both its beautiful abundance and crushing power. Some of his characters contend with tremendous hardship; some discover unique gifts; all arc united by their ultimate deference to the mysteries of their respective landscapes.In "The Hunter's Wife," a hunter's profession is challenged when he learns that his wife can communicate with animal spirits. "For a Long Time This Was Griselda's Story" features two sisters in Idaho struggling to come to terms with the very different paths they have chosen, one traveling the globe with a sideshow and one remaining with her mother in their hometown. In "July 4th," a group of wealthy Americans enters a bet with a gang of British sportsmen: the first side to land the largest freshwater fish on each of the continents wins. The title story describes a blind marine biologist who isolates himself in a thatch-roofed kibanda in Kenya, only to be thrust into the spotlight when he accidentally discovers the cure for a fatal disease. Like all of Doerr's stories, it shimmers with beautiful language and transports readers to a perfectly realized, magical world of his own creation. "The Shell Collector" is an enchanting and imaginative debut by a young writer embarking on an important literarycareer.
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The whorls, chambers, and ribs of the seashell are an elegance unto themselves, but if man-made beauty can come anywhere close to this, Anthony Doerr's short stories would be perfect candidates. His debut collection, The Shell Collector, sets such high standards, sentence to sentence, that it is more like the private architecture of shells than like the random borrowings, sexual details, and flashes of insight that make up the bulk of contemporary fiction. The title story is about a blind man of 58, a scholar of shells (malacology), who retires to an isolated beach-side hut in Kenya, but then accidentally discovers a cure for a major illness in the often-deadly stings of the cone snail. "The Hunter's Wife," a second small masterpiece, describes the marriage of a Montana hunter and his much younger, psychically gifted wife. There are more conventional pieces here; well-written, resonating stories that do not attempt the sweep or descriptive wealth of "The Shell Collector," although they are still at the level of the best realistic fiction that is being published now in America. --Regina MarlerAbout the Author:
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Anthony Doerr has lived in Africa and New Zealand. His stories have appeared in numerous publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The North American Review, and The Black Warrior Review. He is twenty-eight years old and lives in Boise, Idaho.
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Book Description 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First Edition. First UK Edition, First Printing, number-line to # 1 (Flamingo, 2002) **UNREAD** Orange boards are As New, sharp corners. Spine is Fine, no creasing, bright gold lettering, Mild push to top of head. Pages are crisp with no writing, no folding, Tanned as is always the case in this title. Has a silk ribbon place marker. Dust Jacket is Fine, 99% as new, Price intact and protected in a clear archival cover. ISBN 0007146965 **I take personal pride in accurate, honest descriptions and grading. I always carefully ship in well padded boxes, provide free delivery tracking and always smoke-free!**. Bookseller Inventory # HB10177
Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: As New. First Edit. Bookseller Inventory # K-667-04
Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR002627282