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Ideas of Heaven

Ideas of Heaven

by Joan Silber
Publication Date: 01/11/2022

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RRP  $24.99

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Set in France, Italy, New York and China, in the past and present, this National Book Award-shortlisted title examines notions of the divine.


Set in modern-day America and France, Renaissance Italy and Boxer Rebellion China, these stories embrace whole lifetimes, much in the manner of Alice Munro and William Trevor. Joan Silber skilfully and subtly ties one story to the next, as a minor element in one becomes a major element in the next, until the last is tied convincingly to the first. Intense in subject yet restrained in tone, they are about longings - often held for years - and the ways in which sex and religion can become parallel forms of dedication and comfort.

From a wannabe dancer in contemporary New York City to missionaries in China, Ideas of Heaven showcases Joan Silber's extraordinary deftness as she illuminates love, faith and sex with great originality and profundity.

Publication Date:
Atlantic Books
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
Joan Silber

Joan Silber is the author of eight books of fiction. Her previous book, Fools (2013), was longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Other works include The Size of the World (2008), Ideas of Heaven (2004), Lucky Us (2001), In My Other Life (2000), In the City (1987) and Household Words (1980), winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award. She is also the author of The Art of Time in Fiction (2009).

In 2018 she received the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the short story. She lives in New York and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.

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