Stock Image

The Practical Heart

Gurganus, Allan

ISBN 10: 0679437630 / ISBN 13: 9780679437635
Published by Knopf, New York, 2001
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Black Falcon Books (Wellesley, MA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since July 23, 2012

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 30.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.50 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

First edition, stated. Inscribed, signed, and dated by the author on the title page: "To Patricia, an impractical heart. Yours in spirit. / Allan Gurganus 2001." Book is tight, square, and unmarked; dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $25.00). Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 001675

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Practical Heart

Publisher: Knopf, New York

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

A luminous quartet, five years in the writing, reveals even more fully the breathtaking range of "a storyteller in the grand tradition" (New York Times).

Allan Gurganus's voice--by turn bawdy and serene, folkloric and profane--deepens as it soars into this quiet masterwork. Four new fables--rich in event, comedy, experience--surge with the force of history's headlines versus sidestreet human fortitude. Improbable heroes and heroines spiral outward from Gurganus's familiar Carolina terrain. Each fires into a wild and differing direction, all in quest of some fantasy that's practically impossible:

--An impoverished immigrant has her portrait painted (or not) by John Singer Sargent.

--A young man's devotion to saving eighteenth-century homes—and their odd lingering ghosts—helps him find unlikely ways to renovate his own mortality.

--A pillar of the community becomes, over the course of one cartoon matinee, its pariah.

--A beloved, transfixingly homely father shows his village and his only son a decency stronger than race,
humiliation, or even death itself.

These characters' quixotic missions prove mysterious, often even to themselves. Their legacies are not easily deciphered. And yet, their most impractical wishes soon become the heartiest facts about each. They manage to wrest battle-courage from everyday indecision. Out of superstition and convention, they lift certainty. They each find a wealth of consoling truths banked--immortal--in the all-too-human heart.

Allan Gurganus's great powers--announced more than a decade ago by Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All--here achieve a yearning exuberance worthy of a new Whitman. These leaps of sexual longing, empathy, and faith become a major new gift from this essential fablemaker.

Review:

Allan Gurganus documents the daily dreams that sustain us. In the title novella of his extraordinary new collection, The Practical Heart, the narrator tells how his Aunt Muriel, a dour, genteel-poor Scottish immigrant, came to be painted by John Singer Sargent. This bit of family history turns out to be a fiction of the narrator's making, invented in an attempt to express how grand his aunt might have been, given an entirely different life. The other novellas likewise give us narrators interpreting and inventing the people around them. In "Preservation News" a woman eulogizes a historical preservationist who taught her the language of architecture; in "He's One, Too," a gay man looks back on his 1950s youth, when a stolid neighbor was arrested for indecent exposure in a public lavatory; in "Saint Monster," a son mourns his homely, good-hearted father, giving us parent-love as perhaps the most ordinary fantasy of all. --Claire Dederer

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Black Falcon Books is an online seller with a broad range of titles, including fiction and nonfiction, hardcover and paperback, many of them signed by authors.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

We guarantee the condition of every book as it's described on the Abebooks web
sites. If
you're dissatisfied with your purchase (Incorrect Book/Not as Described/Damaged)
or if the
order hasn't arrived, you're eligible for a refund within 30 days of the
estimated delivery
date. If you've changed your mind about a book that you've ordered, please use
the Ask
bookseller a question link to contact us and we'll respond within 2 business
days.
Mark Mayell
27 Seaver St.
Wellesley, MA 02481
United State...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 2 business days. Shipping costs are based on books
weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact
you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express