In the summer of 1997, four people reach a turning point: Alice Valentine, who lies gravely ill in her West Country home; her two sons, one still ...Show synopsisIn the summer of 1997, four people reach a turning point: Alice Valentine, who lies gravely ill in her West Country home; her two sons, one still searching for a sense of direction, the other fighting to keep his acting career and marriage afloat; and Laszlo Lazar, who leads a comfortable life in Paris yet is plagued by his memories of the 1956 Hungarian uprising. For each, the time has come to assess what matters in life, and all will be forced to take part in an act of liberation - though not necessarily the one foreseen.Hide synopsis
Description:New in As New dust jacket. 978-0151007219. Marfree, acidfree...New in As New dust jacket. 978-0151007219. Marfree, acidfree Fine US 1stEd (stated) in unclipped dj as shown; no names, not marked-in, underscored, clearance or discard. Mails from NYC usually within 12 hours.; 1.14 x 8.22 x 6.38 Inches; 323 pages; From Publishers WeeklyThree characters on the cusp of crisis and one on the brink of death inhabit Miller's moving new novel, in which each grapples with despair and discovers that love can confer purifying strength. Widowed school administrator Alice Valentine is dying at her home in England's West Country. She's dependent on an oxygen tank and on her younger son, Alec, who has left his London apartment to care for her. Depressed and feeling unable to cope, the unstable Alec has coincidentally received an assignment that could make his career: to translate a play called Oxygne, written in French by Hungarian exile L szl˘ L z r. Alice's older son, Larry, had always been the successful brother, early on as a tennis star and later as a TV actor. But Larry's been out of a job for some time, and drink and drugs have eroded his moral judgment, alienated his wife and possibly affected his six-year-old daughter. When the family convenes at Alice's bedside for what will be her last birthday, each member is submerged in private struggles. Meanwhile, in Paris, L szl˘ is surrounded by friends and grateful for the devotion of his lover, Kurt, but he remains guilt-ridden because of his failure to avert a tragedy during the Hungarian uprising in 1956. Contacted by Albanian exiles conspiring to fight the Serbs in Kosovo, L szl˘ has a chance to redeem himself on a dangerous mission. With brilliant dexterity, Miller intertwines the strands of his plot and leads each character to epiphanies, capped by a breathtaking denouement. Miller's first novel, Ingenious Pain, won several important literary prizes, including the IMPAC. It's no wonder that Oxygen was a Booker Prize finalist. Written in elegant, resonant prose, this book breathes with compassion and honesty, and with the rare quality called hope. Copyright 2002 Cahners ## "Subtle and Beautiful, January 7, 2004 Online Rev: Andrew Miller has created a unique and beautiful novel about characters who are caught in regret and the human struggle. The interweaving story lines are subtle and beautiful, and will be meaningful to readers who wish to look beyond the obvious and see the interconnections of our existence. One of the profound themes of Oxygen calls to mind a phrase from American poet jani johe webster, who wrote so eloquently: "hoping not to leave/ this earth/ regretting." And so the main characters of the book, estranged brothers Larry and Alec, their dying mother Alice, and, in a different country, a talented but anguished playwright, experience this very struggle: the struggle to live in a way that will liberate them from their wounds and regrets. Andrew Miller took on a great challenge in creating a novel that exists outside the box, and the outcome is a beautiful and nuanced literary work.
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