A double prize-winning novel of great style and charm. Underneath the seemingly ordinary lives of Wright's characters are entire worlds of emotion that, once entered, become wildly unpredictable. Clara Callan has that capacity to surprise, to draw the reader below the smooth surface of convention into a world of passion, where secrets percolate ...
A double prize-winning novel of great style and charm. Underneath the seemingly ordinary lives of Wright's characters are entire worlds of emotion that, once entered, become wildly unpredictable. Clara Callan has that capacity to surprise, to draw the reader below the smooth surface of convention into a world of passion, where secrets percolate and sudden, unexpected violence erupts. Clara Callan is set in the middle of the Great Depression, chronicling the lives of two sisters. Clara is a spinsterish school teacher whose quiet life in a small Ontario town masks a passion for love and adventure. Nora, her flighty and very pretty sister, travels to New York where she lands a starring role in a radio soap opera. Written in diary and letter form, the novel brilliantly reveals the sisters' stories, as their lives become increasingly complex. Rarely has a male writer captured so well the inner life of female characters. And with Wright's extraordinary eye for small but telling details, the world of the thirties comes vividly to life, an era when show business was in its infancy, and the Dionnes grabbed the headlines, when Automats were a futuristic way of buying fast food and the Women's Auxiliary still ruled the social roost in small towns everywhere. Above all, Wright's portrait draws a world of young women -- pre-divorce, pre-Pill, pre-liberation, where judgment weighed heavily upon anyone who defied convention. Clara Callan is so elegantly and seamlessly constructed that the reader enters it effortlessly and does not depart willingly. Readers and reviewers will agree: Clara Callan shows a writer at the top of his form.
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New in new dust jacket. SHIP DAILY from NJ; GIFT-ABLE as NEW, UNREAD fresh FIRST; NEW (hidden shelf bump bottom spine w/DJ NEW AS SHOWN THIS PHOTO. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 288 p. Audience: General/trade. 7998 7998-Breaks new ground by examining human value systems from the perspective of how we live, not our gender. "There is a way of being in the world that recoils from aggressiveness, cunning, and greed, " writes bestselling author Carol Lee Flinders. This way of being arose out of the relationships our hunter-gatherer ancestors had with the natural world, one another, and Spirit--relationships that are...Wright's celebrated novel--2001 winner of both the Governor General's Award and the Giller Prize--beautifully evokes the relationship between two sisters in a time when people escaped from reality through radio and movies, when the Dionne Quints made headlines, and when the growing threat of fascism in Europe was a constant worry.
Chosen by my book club, I was dubious about the book initially but became fascinated by the stories of women's lives in the 1930s. It was interesting to see how women had to deal with workplace discrimination and other issues that remain the same issues they face now, 70 years later. A fascinating - and easy - way to have a history lesson.
Publishers Weekly, 2002-09-16 Canadian author Wright (The Age of Longing) has published eight novels, but remains unknown to most readers in the States. His most recent offering, which won Canada's 2001 Governor General's Award and the Giller Prize, could change that. The story's conceit is simple enough: Clara Callan is a single "schoolteacher who likes to write poetry," left to fend for herself in the tiny town of Whitfield, Ontario, after her father dies and her sister, Nora, takes off for New York City. The novel is made up of a series of letters and journal entries written between 1934 and 1939. During that time, Nora becomes a radio soap opera star, while Clara loses her faith in God, is raped by a vagrant, has an abortion, engages in an affair with a married man named Frank and finally gives birth to a daughter. Nora and the lesbian writer of her soap opera, Evelyn Dowling, are Clara's main correspondents, but the news she relates in her letters (such as "grippe and calloused hands"-although she also shows concern for the world's more serious injustices) contrasts with the darker events recorded in her journal entries. Wright has accomplished an amazing feat by allowing his characters to emerge, fully formed and true, without authorial intrusion into their intimate psychological world, revitalizing the epistolary form in the process. This novel will remind some readers of the American poet Elizabeth Bishop, herself an avid correspondent, and of the way in which the elegant surfaces of her letters sometimes cracked open to reveal demons lurking below. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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