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The hero of this one-of-a-kind novel is Russel Darlington, a born naturalist and an unlikely romantic hero. We meet him in the year 1895—a seven-year-old boy first glimpsed chasing a frog through an Indiana swamp. And we follow this idealistic, appealing man for nearly forty years: into college and over the Rockies in pursuit of a new species of butterfly; through a clumsy courtship and into a struggling marriage; across the Pacific, where on a tiny, rainy island he suffers a nightmarish accident; through the deaths of friends and family and into a seemingly hopeless passion for an unapproachable young woman.
Darlington’s Fall is ultimately a love story. It is written in verse that—vivid, accessible, and lush—imparts an intensity to the story and its luminous gallery of characters: Russel’s rich, taciturn, up-right, guilt-driven father; Miss Kraus, his formidable housekeeper; Ernst Schrock, his maddening, gluttonous mentor; and Pauline Beaudette, the beautiful, ill-starred girl who becomes his wife. Leithauser’s embracingly compassionate outlook invites us into their world—into a past so sharply realized it feels like the present.
In Darlington’s Fall, Brad Leithauser offers an ingeniously plotted story and the virtues long associated with his elegant stanzas: wit, music, and a keen eye for the natural world. His independent careers as novelist and poet come together brilliantly here, producing something rare and wonderful in the landscape of contemporary American writing: a book that bends borders, a happy marriage of poetry and fiction.
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"An amazing merger of art and science, verse and narrative. Leithauser has invented a stanza as accommodating and mobile as prose, which yet rewards us, if we listen, with the music of rhyme. Prose could not have provided a narrative so richly embroidered, so darting and animated in its impulses and inspirations, so glitteringly exact in its evocations of nature. Not since Nabokov has the miracle of consciousness been celebrated with such erudite passion, such lofty wit."
-- John Updike
Brad Leithauser was born in Detroit and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
He is the author of five previous novels—Equal Distance, Hence, Seaward, The Friends of Freeland, and A Few Corrections; four volumes of poetry—The Odd Last Thing She Did, Mail from Anywhere, Cats of the Temple, and Hundreds of Fireflies; and a book of essays. He is the recipient of many awards for his writing, including a MacArthur Fellowship. An Emily Dickinson Lecturer in the Humanities at Mount Holyoke College, he lives with his wife and their two daughters, Emily and Hilary, in Amherst, Massachusetts.
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Book Description Knopf, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0375411488
Book Description Knopf, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0375411488
Book Description Knopf, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110375411488