Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Hogarth (May 7, 2013)
In the final days of December 2004, in a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa hides in the woods when her father is abducted by Russian forces. Fearing for her life, she flees with their neighbor Akhmed–a failed physician–to the bombed-out hospital, where Sonja, the one remaining doctor, treats a steady stream of wounded rebels and refugees and mourns her missing sister. Over the course of five dramatic days, Akhmed and Sonja reach back into their pasts to unravel the intricate mystery of coincidence, betrayal, and forgiveness that unexpectedly binds them and decides their fate.
With The English Patient’s dramatic sweep and The Tiger’s Wife’s expert sense of place, Marra gives us a searing debut about the transcendent power of love in wartime, and how it can cause us to become greater than we ever thought possible.
“A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is simply spectacular. Not since Everything is Illuminated have I read a first novel so ambitious and fully realized. If this is where Anthony Marra begins his career, I can’t imagine how far he will go.”
-ANN PATCHETT, New York Times bestselling author of State of Wonder and Bel Canto
“Remarkable and breathtaking, Anthony Marra’s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a spellbinding elegy for an overlooked land engulfed by an oft forgotten war. Set in the all-too-real Chechen conflict, Marra conjures fragile and heartfelt characters whose fates interrogate the very underpinnings of love and sacrifice.”
-ADAM JOHNSON, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan Master’s Son
“Powerful, convincing, beautifully realized-it’s hard to believe that A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a first novel. Anthony Marra is a writer to watch and savor.”
-T.C. BOYLE, New York Times bestselling author of When the Killing’s Done and The Women
“[An] extraordinary first novel…Marra collapses time, sliding between 1996 and 2004 while also detailing events in a future yet to arrive, giving his searing novel an eerie, prophetic aura. All of the characters are closely tied together in ways that Marra takes his time revealing, even as he beautifully renders the way we long to connect and the lengths we will go to endure.” —Booklist (starred review)
“A complex debut…[Marra writes] with elegant details about the physical and emotional destruction of occupation and war.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Affecting and harrowing… A decade of war in Chechnya informs this multivalent, heartfelt debut, filled with broken families, lost limbs and valiant efforts to find scraps of hope and dignity.” —Kirkus
Stegner Fellow, Iowa MFA, and winner of The Atlantic’s Student Writing Contest, ANTHONY MARRA has won the Pushcart Prize, the Narrative Prize, and a scholarship to Bread Loaf. He is also the recipient of the 2012 Whiting Writers’ Award. He has studied, resided, and traveled throughout Eastern Europe. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is his first novel.
Anthony Marra’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, May 6th: An Excellent Library
Tuesday, May 7th: Caribousmom
Wednesday, May 8th: A Bookish Affair
Friday, May 10th: Unabridged Chick
Monday, May 13th: Book Hooked Blog
Tuesday, May 14th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, May 15th: BookChickDi
Thursday, May 16th: The Feminist Texican [Reads]
Friday, May 17th: Peppermint Ph.D.
Monday, May 20th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, May 23rd: Knowing the Difference
Friday, May 24th: The Relentless Reader
Tuesday, May 28th: Book Chatter
Thursday, May 30th: Books Speak Volumes
Monday, June 3rd: Booklover Book Reviews
Wednesday, June 5th: Rhapsody in Books
Thursday, June 6th: Luxury Reading