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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hardback)

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Foyles Notes

Short story writer Anthony Marra's first novel is set in the Russian republic of Chechnya. In our exclusive interview, Anthony talks about an entire generation of Chechens who have spent their lives as refugees, how trauma magnifies moral deficiency and how the Boston Marathon bombings showed America that the war in Chechnya has global significance.

Synopsis

In a snow-covered village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as her father is abducted in the middle of the night by Russian soldiers. Their life-long friend and neighbour, Akhmed, has also been watching, and when he finds Havaa he knows of only one person who might be able to help. For tough-minded doctor Sonja Rabina, it's just another day of trying to keep her bombed-out, abandoned hospital going. When Akhmed arrives with Havaa, asking Sonja for shelter, she has no idea who the pair are and even less desire to take on yet more responsibilities and risk. But over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja's world will shift on its axis, revealing the intricate pattern of connections that binds these three unlikely companions together and unexpectedly decides their fate. "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is simply spectacular". (Ann Patchett).

Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Hogarth Publication Date: 16/05/2013 ISBN-13: 9781781090053  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Currently unavailable  

Anthony Marra was born in Washington, D.C. During his university years he spent a summer working as a night porter and doorman at a five-star hotel in Edinburgh, and from there moved eastward, studying first in Prague and then in St. Petersburg. He was one of the first foreign tourists to visit the post-war republic of Chechnya, and was interviewed on three Chechen television programmes as a result. He has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. In October 2012, he received the Whiting Writers' Award, presented annually to emerging writers of exceptional talent, whose previous recipients include Jonathan Franzen, Tony Kushner, David Foster Wallace, Jeffrey Eugenides and Michael Cunningham.

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