For Rouenna: A Novel

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From the National Book Award-winning author of The Friend, one of the most celebrated novelists of her generation, the story of a woman's experiences in the Vietnam War

"After my first book was published, I received some letters." So begins Sigrid Nunez's haunting novel about the poignant and unusual friendship between a writer and a retired army nurse who seeks her out decades after their childhood in the same housing project. Among the letters the narrator receives is one from a Rouenna Zycinski, recalling their old connection and asking if they can meet.Though fascinated by the stories Rouenna tells about her life as a combat nurse in Vietnam, the narrator flatly declines her request that they collaborate on a memoir. It is only later, in the aftermath of Rouenna's shocking death, that the narrator is drawn to write about her friend--and her friend's war. Writing Rouenna's story becomes all-consuming, at once a necessity and the only consolation.

For Rouenna, an unforgettable novel about truth, memory, and unexpected heroism by one of the most gifted writers of her generation, is also a remarkable and surprising new look at war.

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About the author

Sigrid Nunez is the author of A Feather on the Breath of God, Naked Sleeper, and Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury. She has been the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award and of two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters: the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Rome Prize in Literature.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Published on
Nov 15, 2002
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781429944861
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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"A new Hemingway" (San Francisco Chronicle) weaves together the stories of two men and the Vietnamese call girl who unites them.

Set on the rain-slicked streets of Chicago, critically acclaimed author Daniel Buckman explores the unfocused longing and unfulfilled expectations of two men balanced precariously on the edge.

Mike Spence is an unsatisfied writer with nothing left to write about. He lives in Chicago with his wife and an enormous burden of unrealized expectations hanging over his head. To escape he concocts elaborate fantasies about travel and career and how his life will be different once he gets this job, takes that vacation, marries a different girl. He ends each evening staring out his darkened window and into the apartment of a beautiful Vietnamese girl who lives in the two-flat across the street.

Donald Goetzler is a Vietnam Vet who made it through, spent the last thirty years of his life riding a desk at Weber Industrial Supply, and is now retiring with a bad Mexican buffet and a gold Rolex. He's got nothing to look forward to but his weekly session with the Vietnamese call girl who takes him back through his memories of when he was young and his life was real.

As the two men construct their elaborate fantasy worlds around the same woman, these three souls are unaware of the shocking and explosive consequences that the intersection of their lives will bring

In a beautifully crafted novel, Daniel Buckman demonstrates the prodigious talent that informs repeated comparisons to Hemingway, Faulkner, Mailer, and O'Brien, and once again tantalizes with the possibility that his name will one day be etched in American literature alongside the masters.
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From the critically acclaimed author of The Friend, the 2018 winner of the National Book Award, comes a moving novel that imagines the aftermath of pandemic flu as seen through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old boy uncertain of his destiny.
His family's sole survivor after a flu pandemic has killed large numbers of people worldwide, Cole Vining is lucky to have found refuge with the evangelical Pastor Wyatt and his wife in a small town in southern Indiana. As the world outside has grown increasingly anarchic, Salvation City has been spared much of the devastation, and its residents have renewed their preparations for the Rapture.

Grateful for the shelter and love of his foster family (and relieved to have been saved from the horrid, overrun orphanages that have sprung up around the country), Cole begins to form relationships within the larger community. But despite his affection for this place, he struggles with memories of the very different world in which he was reared. Is there room to love both Wyatt and his parents? Are they still his parents if they are no longer there? As others around him grow increasingly fixated on the hope of salvation and the new life to come through the imminent Rapture, Cole begins to conceive of a different future for himself, one in which his own dreams of heroism seem within reach.

Written in Sigrid Nunez's deceptively simple style, Salvation City is a story of love, betrayal, and forgiveness, weaving the deeply affecting story of a young boy's transformation with a profound meditation on the meaning of belief and heroism.
“Absurdistan is not just a hilarious novel, but a record of a particular peak in the history of human folly. No one is more capable of dealing with the transition from the hell of socialism to the hell of capitalism in Eastern Europe than Shteyngart, the great-great grandson of one Nikolai Gogol and the funniest foreigner alive.”
–Aleksandar Hemon

From the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook comes the uproarious and poignant story of one very fat man and one very small country
Meet Misha Vainberg, aka Snack Daddy, a 325-pound disaster of a human being, son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia, proud holder of a degree in multicultural studies from Accidental College, USA (don’t even ask), and patriot of no country save the great City of New York. Poor Misha just wants to live in the South Bronx with his hot Latina girlfriend, but after his gangster father murders an Oklahoma businessman in Russia, all hopes of a U.S. visa are lost.
Salvation lies in the tiny, oil-rich nation of Absurdistan, where a crooked consular officer will sell Misha a Belgian passport. But after a civil war breaks out between two competing ethnic groups and a local warlord installs hapless Misha as minister of multicultural affairs, our hero soon finds himself covered in oil, fighting for his life, falling in love, and trying to figure out if a normal life is still possible in the twenty-first century.
With the enormous success of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, Gary Shteyngart established himself as a central figure in today’s literary world—“one of the most talented and entertaining writers of his generation,” according to The New York Observer. In Absurdistan, he delivers an even funnier and wiser literary performance. Misha Vainberg is a hero for the new century, a glimmer of humanity in a world of dashed hopes.
The paths of two women from different walks of life intersect amid counterculture of the 1960s in this haunting and provocative novel from the National Book Award-winning author of The Friend

Named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Christian Science Monitor

Sigrid Nunez's The Last of Her Kind introduces two women who meet as freshmen on the Columbia campus in 1968. Georgette George does not know what to make of her brilliant, idealistic roommate, Ann Drayton, and her obsessive disdain for the ruling class into which she was born. She is mortified by Ann's romanticization of the underprivileged class, which Georgette herself is hoping college will enable her to escape. After the violent fight that ends their friendship, Georgette wants only to forget Ann and to turn her attention to the troubled runaway kid sister who has reappeared after years on the road. Then, in 1976, Ann is convicted of murder. At first, Ann's fate appears to be the inevitable outcome of her belief in the moral imperative to "make justice" in a world where "there are no innocent white people." But, searching for answers to the riddle of this friend of her youth, Georgette finds more complicated and mysterious forces at work.

The novel's narrator Georgette illuminates the terrifying life of this difficult, doomed woman, and in the process discovers how much their early encounter has determined her own path, and why, decades later, as she tells us, "I have never stopped thinking about her."

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