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A Map of the World
Hamilton, Jane
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List Price: $15.95
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Total delivery time: within 10 business days

Format: Paperback, 400pp.
Date of publication: Dec 03 1999
Publisher: Anchor Books
ISBN-13: 9780385720106
Dimensions: 20.45 cm. (length) X 13.18 cm. (width) X 2.13 cm. (thickness)
Weight: 291 grams

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Author Note
Jane Hamilton lives, works, and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin. Her short stories have appeared in Harper's Magazine, and her first book, The Book of Ruth, was awarded the 1989 PENHemingway Foundation Award for best first novel. Seven years after its publication, The Book of Ruth was chosen for the Oprah Book Club, giving it a second life. In 1994 Hamilton published A Map of the World which became an international best seller, and in 1998, The Short History of a Prince, which won the Heartland Prize for Fiction, and was shortlisted for Britain's Orange Prize. [Edit review] [Delete review]
From the Publisher
From the author of the widely acclaimed The Book of Ruth comes a harrowing, heartbreaking drama about a rural American family and a disastrous event that forever changes their lives.

The Goodwins, Howard, Alice, and their little girls, Emma and Claire, live on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Although suspiciously regarded by their neighbors as "that hippie couple" because of their well-educated, urban background, Howard and Alice believe they have found a source of emotional strength in the farm, he tending the barn while Alice works as a nurse in the local elementary school.

But their peaceful life is shattered one day when a neighbor's two-year-old daughter drowns in the Goodwins' pond while under Alice's care. Tormented by the accident, Alice descends even further into darkness when she is accused of sexually abusing of a student at the elementary school. Soon, Alice is arrested, incarcerated, and as good as convicted in the eyes of a suspicious... [More...] [Edit review] [Delete review]
Review
"Jane Hamilton has removed all doubts that she belongs among the major writers of our time." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Stunning prose and unforgettable characters . . . an enthralling tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying ways our lives can spin out of control." --Entertainment Weekly

"It takes a writer of rare power and discipline to carry off an achievement like A Map of the World. Hamilton proves here that she is one of the best." --Newsweek

"Ms. Hamilton has done a nimble job of showing us how precarious the illusion of safety and security really is." --The New York Times

"Hamilton's chillingly accurate prose keeps her fine novel buoyant. She is superb in her observation of the natural world and in her examination of psychological nuance." --The Washington Post [Edit review] [Delete review]
Excerpt
I used to think if you fell from grace it was more likely than not the result of one stupendous error, or else an unfortunate accident. I hadn't learned that it can happen so gradually you don't lose your stomach or hurt yourself in the landing. You don't necessarily sense the motion. I've found it takes at least two and generally three things to alter the course of a life: You slip around the truth once, and then again, and one more time, and there you are, feeling, for a moment, that it was sudden, your arrival at the bottom of the heap.

I opened my eyes on a Monday morning in June last summer and I heard, somewhere far off, a siren belting out calamity. It was the last time I would listen so simply to a sound that could mean both disaster and pursuit. Emma and Claire were asleep and safe in their beds, and my own heart seemed to be beating regularly. If the barn was out the window, clean, white, the grass cropped as close as a golf course, the large fan whirring in the... [More...] [Edit review] [Delete review]
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