Beautiful and heartbreaking, comic and tragic, The Snow Queen once again proves that Michael Cunningham is one of the great novelists of his generation
Michael Cunningham's luminous novel begins with a vision. It's November 2004. Barrett Meeks, having lost love yet again, is walking through Central Park when he is inspired to look up at the sky; there he sees a pale, translucent light that seems to regard him in a distinctly godlike way. Barrett doesn't believe in visions—or in God—but he can't deny what he's seen.
At the same time, in the not-quite-gentrified Bushwick neighbourhood of Brooklyn, Tyler, Barrett's older brother, a struggling musician, is trying—and failing—to write a song for Beth, his wife-to-be, who is seriously ill. Tyler is determined to write a wedding song that will be not merely a sentimental ballad, but an enduring expression of love. Barrett, haunted by the light, turns unexpectedly to religion. Tyler grows increasingly convinced that only drugs can release his creative powers. Beth tries to face mortality with as much courage as she can summon.
Cunningham follows the Meeks brothers as each turns down a different path in his search for transcendence. In subtle, lucid prose, he demonstrates a profound empathy for his conflicted characters and a singular understanding of what lies at the depth of the human soul.
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MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM was raised in Los Angeles and now lives in New York. His first novel, A Home at the End of the World, was published in 1990, and his second, Flesh and Blood, in 1995. His work has been published in the New Yorker and Best American Short Stories 1989.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Like By Nightfall (2010), Cunningham’s elegant and haunting new novel examines the complex dynamics among a couple and a brother. In this configuration, Barrett Meeks, a poetically minded man in his late thirties who has just been dumped by his most recent boyfriend via text message, shares a Brooklyn apartment with Tyler, his older musician-bartender brother, and Beth, Tyler’s great love. Beth and Barrett work in Liz’s vintage shop. She’s 52; her current lover, Andrew, is 28. Beth is undergoing full-throttle treatment for cancer. Tyler is struggling to write the perfect love song for their wedding, and breaking his promise not to do drugs. Barrett, long afflicted by his flitting interest in everything, remains in an altered state after seeing a strangely animated “celestial light” over dark and snowy Central Park. As his characters try to reconcile exalted dreams and crushing reality, Cunningham orchestrates intensifying inner monologues addressing such ephemeral yet essential aspects of life as shifting perspectives, tides of desire and fear, “rampancy” versus “languidness,” and revelation and receptivity. Tender, funny, and sorrowful, Cunningham’s beautiful novel is as radiant and shimmering as Barrett’s mysterious light in the sky, gently illuminating the gossamer web of memories, feelings, and hopes that mysteriously connect us to each other as the planet spins its way round and round the sun. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Pulitzer Prize–winning Cunningham will tour with this resplendent novel in sync with national advertising and extensive online promotion. --Donna Seaman
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Book Description Harpercollins Publishers, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 272 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0007557787
Book Description Fourth Estate Ltd, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110007557787