Netherland: A Novel

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New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year 

In a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of 9/11, and left alone after his English wife and son return to London, Hans van den Broek stumbles upon the vibrant New York subculture of cricket, where he revisits his lost childhood and, thanks to a friendship with a charismatic and charming Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon, begins to reconnect with his life and his adopted country. As the two men share their vastly different experiences of contemporary immigrant life in America, an unforgettable portrait emerges of an "other" New York populated by immigrants and strivers of every race and nationality.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
May 20, 2008
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780307377593
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Cultural Heritage
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Winner of the John Gardner Award for Fiction

“Hearken ye fellow misfits, migrants, outcasts, squint-eyed bibliophiles, library-haunters and book stall-stalkers: Here is a novel for you.”—Wall Street Journal

“A tragicomic picaresque whose fervid logic and cerebral whimsy recall the work of Bolaño and Borges.” —New York Times Book Review

Longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award * An Amazon Best Book of the Year * A Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Named a Best Book by: Entertainment Weekly, Harper's Bazaar, Boston Globe, Fodor's, Fast Company, Refinery29,Nylon, Los Angeles Review of Books, Book Riot, The Millions, Electric Literature, Bitch, Hello Giggles, Literary Hub, Shondaland, Bustle, Brit & Co., Vol. 1 Brooklyn,Read It Forward,Entropy Magazine,Chicago Review of Books, iBooks and Publishers Weekly

Zebra is the last in a line of anarchists, atheists, and autodidacts. Alone and in exile, she leaves New York for Barcelona, retracing the journey she and her father made from Iran to the United States years ago. Books are her only companions—until she meets Ludo. Their connection is magnetic, and fraught. They push and pull across the Mediterranean, wondering if their love—or lust—can free Zebra from her past. Starring a heroine as quirky as Don Quixote, as brilliant as Virginia Woolf, as worldly as Miranda July, and as spirited as Lady Bird, Call Me Zebra is “hilarious and poignant, painting a magnetic portrait of a young woman you can’t help but want to know more about” (Harper’s Bazaar).
An impassioned call to restore the conditions of freedom and human dignity, ideals our civilization seems to have lost

In the pages of this slim, powerful book Rob Riemen argues with passion that "nobility of spirit" is the quintessence of a civilized world. It is, as Thomas Mann believed, the sole corrective for human history. Without nobility of spirit, culture vanishes. Yet in the early twenty-first century, a time when human dignity and freedom are imperiled, the concept of nobility of spirit is scarcely considered.

Riemen insists that if we hope to move beyond the war on terror and create a life-affirming culture, we must address timeless but neglected questions: What is a good society? Why art? Why culture? What is the responsibility of intellectuals? Why anti-Americanism? Why nihilism? Why the cult of death of fundamentalists? In a series of three essays, the author identifies nobility of spirit in the life and work of Baruch Spinoza and of Thomas Mann; explores the quest for the good society in our own time; and addresses the pursuit of truth and freedom that engaged figures as disparate as Socrates and Leone Ginzburg, a Jewish Italian intellectual murdered by Nazis.

"The forces now aligned against humanistic values are manifold," observes George Steiner in the foreword to the book. In this imaginative and compelling volume, Riemen addresses these forces and speaks to every reader who believes in the power of classical ideas to restore Western civilization's highest values.

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