In Paradise

Matthiessen, Peter

9781594633171

ISBN 10: 1594633177 / 1-59463-317-7
ISBN 13: 9781594633171
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: 2014
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
In Paradise tells the story of a group of men and women come together for a weeklong meditation retreat at the site of a World War II concentration camp, and the grief, rage, bewildering transports, and upsetting revelations that surface during their time together. Even as it probes the suffering, conflicts, and longings of these diverse characters, In Paradise raises provocative and unanswerable metaphysical questions: how beauty and joy can emerge out of horror; what responsibility comes with bearing witness to such cruelty and tragedy; and what insights into the nature of good and evil may be lost in the next decade or two, as the last survivors of and witnesses to the death camps pass away. In Paradise is Matthiessen's first work of fiction since Shadow Country, which won the National Book Award in 2008. Having participated in three Zen retreats at Auschwitz beginning in the 1990s, he had long wished to comment on the ongoing fallout of last century's global catastrophe, but 'as a non-Jewish American journalist, I felt unqualified to do so, I felt I had no right. But approaching it as fiction - as a novelist, an artist - I eventually decided that I did. Only fiction would allow me to probe from a variety of viewpoints the great strangeness of what I had felt.'

Review:

In Paradise tells the story of a group of men and women who come together for a weeklong meditation retreat at the site of a World War II concentration camp, and the grief, rage and upsetting revelations that surface during their time together. Even as it probes the suffering, conflicts, and longings of these diverse characters, In Paradise raises provocative and unanswerable metaphysical questions: what responsibility comes with bearing witness to such cruelty and tragedy; and what insights into the nature of good and evil may be lost in the next decade or two, as the last survivors of – and witnesses to – the death camps pass away. Having participated in three Zen retreats at Auschwitz beginning in the 1990s, Matthiessen had long wished to comment on the ongoing fallout of last century's global catastrophe, but ‘as a non-Jewish American journalist, I felt unqualified to do so, I felt I had no right. But approaching it as fiction – as a novelist, an artist – I eventually decided that I did. Only fiction would allow me to probe from a variety of viewpoints the great strangeness of what I had felt.’

Product Description

Review:

‘The fiction of Peter Matthiessen is the reason a lot of people in my generation decided to be writers.’ 

 

(Richard Ford)

'His writing does every justice to the blood and fury of his themes.'

(Don DeLillo)

‘Darkly humorous… [In Paradise] gives no hint of the writer’s age or declining physical powers. The maturity of its insights, and its emotional restraint, are the only signs the author is not a youth’

( The Herald)

‘A moving valedictory for one of America’s most wide-ranging and poetical writers… compelling… vivid… hypnotic’

( Financial Times)

‘Skilful… affecting and powerful… In Paradise gets at the heart of the defining tragic enigma of the 20th century… [It] is Matthiessen's complex and worthy adieu’ 

(Jane Smiley, Guardian)

‘The best passages here are beautifully observed evocations of the place… There is much to meditate on and many reasons to read this novel’

( The Times)

 ‘A dark but thoroughly testing, ambitious and thought-provoking novel’

( Curious Animal)

‘Powerfully lyrical and atmospheric’

( Observer)

‘A curious, risky novel’

( Literary Review)

‘Lucid, compelling… A masterclass in fiction… Stunning’ 

( Irish Times)

Review

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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