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Fate takes many forms. . . .
When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey—named Beatrice and Virgil—and the epic journey they undertake together.
With all the spirit and originality that made Life of Pi so beloved, this brilliant new novel takes the reader on a haunting odyssey. On the way Martel asks profound questions about life and art, truth and deception, responsibility and complicity.
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Yann Martel on Animals and the Holocaust in Beatrice and Virgil
I often get asked the question why I use animals in my stories. Life of Pi was set in a zoo and featured a number of animals, and animals once again play a prominent role in my new novel, Beatrice and Virgil. Am I a great animal lover? Well, I suppose I am; nature is indeed beautiful. But the actual reason I like to use animals is because they help me tell my tale. People are cynical about people, but less so about wild animals. A rhinoceros dentist elicits less skepticism, in some ways, than a German dentist. I also use animals in my fiction because people rarely see animals as they truly are, biologically. Rather, they tend to project human traits onto them, seeing nobility in one species, cowardice in another, and so on. This is biological nonsense, of course; every species is and behaves as it needs to in order to survive. But this animal-as-canvas quality is useful for a storyteller. It means that an animal that people feel kindly towards becomes a character that readers feel kindly towards.
Why did I choose to write a novel about the Holocaust? There’s nothing personal to this interest; I’m neither Jewish, nor of German or eastern European extraction. I’m a complete outsider who’s been staring at this monstrous massacre of innocents since I first learned about it as a child living in France. It’s as an artist that I’ve kept coming back to the subject. What can I do as an artist about the Holocaust? I believe that if history does not express itself as art, it will not survive in common human memory. And so I took what I knew of the Holocaust, the cumulative knowledge of my reading and viewing and visiting (both to camps in Poland and Germany and to Yad Vashem in Israel and to various museums), and I set it next to that part of me that wants to understand through the imagination. Then I sat down and wrote Beatrice and Virgil.
Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963. After studying philosophy at university, he worked odd jobs and traveled before turning to writing at the age of twenty-six. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed 2002 Man Booker Prize–winning novel Life of Pi, which was translated into thirty-eight languages and spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Yann Martel lives in Saskatchewan, Canada.
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Book Description Spiegel & Grau, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. New item. May have light shelf wear. Seller Inventory # 160923058
Book Description Spiegel & Grau. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1400069262 Ships promptly. Seller Inventory # Z1400069262ZN
Book Description Spiegel & Grau, New York, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Hardcover. Like New. Edges, Spine and Corners are all new. Book was never read. DJ in new condition. DJ unclipped. First Edition 1st printing (stated first edition and full number line). book. Seller Inventory # CB1180
Book Description Spiegel & Grau. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1400069262 Ships from Tennessee, usually the same or next day. Seller Inventory # Z1400069262ZN
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Book Description Spiegel & Grau, New York, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First US edition first printing of the third novel by this author. In fine / fine unread condition. Language: eng. Seller Inventory # 15515
Book Description Spiegel & Grau, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1400069262
Book Description Spiegel & Grau, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1400069262
Book Description Spiegel & Grau, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First printing of first edition with complete number line (9-1). Flat SIGNED by Martel on title page. Unmarked, unclipped, very bright, exceedingly tight, crisp unread copy in superb condition. Admits no flaws. This copy is gorgeous. Archival mylar covered dust jacket. Also includes SIGNED Advance Reader's Edition. Carefully bubble wrapped and ships in sturdy box. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # 096
Book Description Spiegel & Grau, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition... New York: Spiegel & Grau . First Edition. First printing. Hardbound. New! Very fine/very fine in all respects. A pristine unread copy. Comes with mylar dust jacket wrapper. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. Smoke-free. Shipped in well padded box. Author has signed his name, without any inscriptions. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # 0810-358