THE GARDENS OF KYOTO: A NOVEL

Kate Walbert

Published by Scribner Paperback Fiction
ISBN 10: 1860498817 / ISBN 13: 9781860498817
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Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: (Ellen tells of meeting the father of her child, of her sister's disappearance, of a friend's abortion. These are in fact the story's recurrent motifs: vanishing women, endangered children, and men permanently damaged by war. As for the titular gardens, they make but a brief appearance, in a book Randall bequests to the narrator. Yet Walbert's description of them lends an extra resonance to her themes of distance and loss, even as we discover that Ellen has been deceiving herself--and us--all along and poignancy that hindsight brings)

Review: Nothing is quite as it should be in this first novel by Kate Walbert, author of the celebrated story collection Where She Went. Set in wartime Philadelphia, the story is told by Ellen, a character inhabiting a rather complex narrative device. Namely, she's looking back on the war years, from some future vantage point, recounting her experiences to her child. This framing device allows Walbert to create a novel in which the past is neither as innocent nor as simple as the reader assumes.

Ellen, the youngest of three sisters, lives for her annual visit to see her cousin Randall. Something in his odd-duck imaginings speaks to her, and their bond is cemented by the fact that they both have red hair. (Relationships have been built on less.) Yet this portrait of Randall is shadowed by loss; we know from the first that he will be killed in the war. Small wonder that nostalgia sweetens Ellen's account of their friendship: "Sometimes, when I think about it, I see the two of us there, Randall and me, from a different perspective, as if I were Mother walking through the door to call us for supper.... One will never grow old, never age. One will never plant tomatoes, drive automobiles, go to dances. One will never drink too much and sit alone, wishing, in the dark."

Ellen tells of meeting the father of her child, of her sister's disappearance, of a friend's abortion. These are in fact the story's recurrent motifs: vanishing women, endangered children, and men permanently damaged by war. As for the titular gardens, they make but a brief appearance, in a book Randall bequests to the narrator. Yet Walbert's description of them lends an extra resonance to her themes of distance and loss, even as we discover that Ellen has been deceiving herself--and us--all along. --Claire Dederer

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE GARDENS OF KYOTO: A NOVEL
Publisher: Scribner Paperback Fiction
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: VERY GOOD

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Walbert, Kate
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Book Description Virago 03/05/2001, 2001. Condition: Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Seller Inventory # 7719-9781860498817

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Book Description - -. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Seller Inventory # 6545-9781860498817

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Book Description Virago, 2001. Condition: Very Good. 2001. Paperback. Clean copy with minor shelf wear. . . . . Seller Inventory # KOC0026589

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Book Description Scribner, 2001, 2001. 1st edition (advance reader's copy, in illustrated wraps as issued) NF condition. Seller Inventory # 3473

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Book Description Virago Press Ltd, London, U.K., 2001. Soft cover. Condition: Fine. No Jacket. 1st Edition. Hardback. ***uncorrected proof copy***. London, U.K. Book Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: None. Without Dedication. Book: Bright & Clean throughout. 287 pp. Rubbed top of spine, spine faded. IN EXCELLENT CONDITION PLEASE CONTACT US BEFORE THIS BOOK TO CONFIRM BOOK CONDITION AND EDITION (most of our books are 1st editions). We can send you photos of this book with a detailed description. Shipping is normally same day from the UK. "UK BASED SELLER ALL OVERSEAS SHIPPING VIA AIRMAIL". If you do not want this service please make it clear to Abebooks you wish by Ship. In Stock.- THANKS! We do not stock Ex-Library or Book Club editions. We do not stock ex-library or Book Club editions. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not fully satisfied, please contact us if you have any questions. Bookseller Inventory #O. 032517092302. Seller Inventory # 002944

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