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A Simple Tale is the moving account of Maria Poniatowski, a woman born in the Ukraine between the two World Wars, taken by the Germans for slave labor, and eventually relocated as a displaced person to Canada. She and her husband settle in Toronto. They struggle to build a new life there and provide their son Radek with every opportunity. But a gulf widens between mother and son. What of the past is she to preserve, and how to avoid letting its weight burden the present? Maria's story is about the moments of connection and isolation that are, ultimately, common to us all.
The Hunters is told by an American academic living in a dreary suburb of London for a summer. Removed from the relationships that ordinarily add structure to life, this scholar soon grows obsessed by the neighbors downstairs. Ridley Wandor lives with her mother and their horde of pet rabbits, occupying her days as a caretaker of the elderly. While the narrator researches a book about death, Ridley Wandor's patients all seem to be dying. Is she doing away with them? The narrator constructs Ridley's story from the available clues, only to find that nothing is what it had seemed to be.
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"A marvelously subtle and poignant work, richly visualized, intensely written, compassionate without a hint of sentimentality . . . Exceptional, a work of near-miraculous perfection."--The New York Times
"A Simple Tale" is the moving account of Maria Poniatowski, an aging Ukrainian woman who was taken by the Germans for slave labor and eventually relocated to Canada as a displaced person. She struggles to provide her son Radek with every opportunity, but his eventual success increases the gulf between him and his mother. What of the past is she to preserve, and how to avoid letting the weight of that past burden the present? Maria's story is about the moments of connection and isolation that are common to us all.
"The Hunters," the second novella, is narrated by an American academic spending a summer in London who grows obsessed by the neighbors downstairs. Ridley Wandor, a plump and insipid caretaker of the elderly, lives with her ever-unseen mother and a horde of pet rabbits she calls "the hunters." While the narrator researches a book about death, all of Ridley Wandor's patients are dying. Loneliness breeds an active imagination. Is having such an imagination always destructive? Or can it be strong enough to create a new reality?
Far-flung settings and universal themes give a sweeping appeal to Claire Messud's work.
Like Flaubert, Messud is interested in how much people can endure across a lifetime without losing all hope. Together the two pieces address the loneliness inherent in the human desire to be known and loved--'A Simple Tale' directly and deeply, 'The Hunters' glancingly, by implication."--Atlantic Monthly
Claire Messud was born in the United States in 1966. She was educated at Yale and Cambridge. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1996. Her second novel, The Last Life, was widely praised and has been translated into several languages.
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Book Description Harcourt, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. Messude, Claire. THE HUNTERS. NY: Harcourt, Inc., c2001. First printing. 181pp, 8vo, New hardbound in d/w,. Seller Inventory # 46920
Book Description Harcourt (New York), 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition, first printing. Hardbound. NEW. Very Fine in a very fine dust jacket. A tight, clean copy, unread. NOT price-clipped. Comes with archival-quality mylar dust jacket protector. Shipped in well padded box. Seller Inventory # fiction-stacks-36
Book Description Harcourt, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0151005885
Book Description Harcourt, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110151005885
Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0151005885
Book Description Harcourt, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A., 2001. Soft cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. RARE Advance Reading Copy-Uncorrected Proof-Not For Sale. 1st Edition-Stated. 1st Printing-Full Letter Line. New copy. Never read. Trade paperback format. Top right hand corner of the book is a slight crush mark that affects a few pages. Book lays perfectly flat and crush is not noticeable. Still a beautiful copy of book & cover. COLLECTOR'S COPY. Seller Inventory # 001791
Book Description Harcourt (New York), 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition, first printing. Hardbound. New! Very fine/Very fine in all respects. A pristine unread copy. This book was purchased new, opened only to sign. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. Author has signed her name only, without any other writing. Smoke-free and shipped in well padded box. You cannot find a better copy. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # sk11
Book Description Harcourt, New York, U.S.A., 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First Edition stated, with correct letter line sequence, no writing, marks, underlining, or bookplates. No remainder marks. Spine is tight and crisp. Boards are flat and true and the corners are square. Dust jacket is not price-clipped. This collectible, " NEW" condition first edition/first printing copy is protected with a polyester archival dust jacket cover. Beautiful collectible copy. GIFT QUALITY. Seller Inventory # 001721
Book Description Harcourt. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0151005885 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0031975