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Henderson's Spear: A Novel

Wright, Ronald

79 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0805069968 / ISBN 13: 9780805069969
Published by Henry Holt and Co., 2002
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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0805069968 A young women struggles to understand her family's mysterious past while serving time in a Tahitian jail on a trumped-up murder charge. 334pp. 1st ed. > Language: English | > Size: 8vo | > Media/Binding: Hardcover |. Bookseller Inventory # CORV-BBP-14646

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Henderson's Spear: A Novel

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


A masterly epic that weaves a contemporary search for a missing father with a vivid story from the heyday of the British Empire.

Liv, a Canadian filmmaker, is writing from a Tahitian jail, piecing together her troubled past and her family's buried history for the unknown daughter she gave up at birth. The search for her own father, a pilot missing since the Korean War, has brought her to the South Seas and landed her behind bars on a trumped-up murder charge. In the stillness of her cell, Liv ponders the secret journal of her ancestor Frank Henderson, who came to these same waters a century before on an extraordinary three-year voyage with Queen Victoria's grandsons-Prince George (later George V) and Prince Eddy, who would die young and disgraced, linked by the gutter press to the Ripper killings and many other scandals.

Through unforgettable characters and a mesmerizing story, Henderson's Spear traces two tales of obsession, intrigue, and loss-from the 1890s and the 1990s. These stories reach around the world from Africa, England, and North America to converge with compelling effect in the Polynesian islands.

With a deep understanding of the landscape and culture of the South Sea Islands, Henderson's Spear explores the patterns of history and the accidents of love.

From the Back Cover:

Praise for Henderson's Spear:

"Richly imagined and crisply written... Romantic but unsentimental, this is a beautifully constructed story with fascinating characters and authentic details that play off one another in surprising and often shocking ways. The thematic homage to Melville is punctuated with other literary allusions that enrich and deepen an already thoroughly engrossing tale of the South Pacific." -- Publisher's Weekly

“…a fast-paced tale of travel, adventure, family (and royal) secrets, infused with a moral vision reminiscent of Joseph Conrad.” -- Judy Stoffman, Toronto Star September 30, 2001

"Wright has fashioned a truly global novel, fired by anger at the exploitation of the earth by colonialism and the economic forces that have succeeded it, and by a love for the creatures and civilizations that have vanished in the name of so-called progress." -- John Bemrose Maclean's October 8, 2001

“Don’t be put deterred by the fact that Henderson’s Spear is hailed as postfeminist and postmodern. It is also a page-turning adventure tale that grabs the Victorian notion of an Imperial boy’s adventure story and turns it on its masculine axle.” -- Sandra Martin, The Globe and Mail, October 29, 2001.

“Ronald Wright has written a Gauguin canvas and a volcanic tremor of a novel.” — Len Gasparini, Toronto Star

“Charming and delightful…. Perhaps the greatest achievement of this novel is the way it reads as something intimate notwithstanding the grandeur of its scope.” -- Mary Ambrose, National Post

Henderson’s Spear is an intriguing, warm-toned, well-written and spirited novel, a credit to its tradition.” -- John Spurling, Times Literary Supplement

“Powerful evocation of the Pacific world….[Victorian adventure] has succesfully been given a modern make-over by a number of recent novelists — William Boyd in Brazzaville Beach, for example — and now by Wright.” -- Adam Lively, Sunday Times UK

“A taut fiction of tremendous beauty.” -- Susan Grimbly, Ottawa Citizen

“Sometimes a novel hooks you in its opening pages and doesn’t let go. Henderson’s Spear is that kind of tale … beautifully executed from start to finish.” -- Douglas Johnston, Winnipeg Free Press

Praise for A Scientific Romance

" A Scientific Romance should...share with Fugitive Pieces the very upper rung of [20th-century Canadian literature]." -- from Bill Richardson's foreword to Great Canadian Books of the Century

"An elegant novel...gripping and lyrical; you struggle to slow down but find yourself rushing forward." -- The New Yorker

"A treasure...delightfully witty and suspenseful." -- Alberto Manguel, The Globe and Mail

"Powerful...cunningly fashioned.... A profound meditation on the nature of time." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Deeply seductive and brilliantly sustained." -- The Observer

"A classic." -- The Guardian

"A work of great beauty built on nightmare." -- Boston Book Review

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