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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In Paradise (ISBN: 9781594633171)
Matthiessen, Peter
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Book Description: Riverhead Books, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 236 x 147 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. A profoundly searching new novel by a writer of incomparable range, power, and achievement. In the winter of 1996, more than a hundred women and men of diverse nationality, background, and belief gather at the site of a former concentration camp for an unprecedented purpose: a weeklong retreat during which they will offer prayer and witness at the crematoria and meditate in all weathers on the selection platform, while eating and sleeping in the quarters of the Nazi officers who, half a century before, sent more than a million Jews to their deaths. Clements Olin, an American academic of Polish descent, has come along, ostensibly to complete research on the death of a survivor, even as he questions what a non-Jew can contribute to the understanding of so monstrous a catastrophe. As the days pass, tensions, both political and personal, surface among the participants, stripping away any easy pretense to healing or closure. Finding himself in the grip of emotions and impulses of bewildering intensity, Olin is forced to abandon his observer s role and to embrace a history his family has long suppressed--and with it the yearnings and contradictions of being fully alive. In Paradise is a brave and deeply thought-provoking novel by one of our most stunningly accomplished writers. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781594633171

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In Paradise (Hardback) (ISBN: 9781594633171)
Matthiessen, Peter
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Book Description: Riverhead Books, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 236 x 147 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. A profoundly searching new novel by a writer of incomparable range, power, and achievement. In the winter of 1996, more than a hundred women and men of diverse nationality, background, and belief gather at the site of a former concentration camp for an unprecedented purpose: a weeklong retreat during which they will offer prayer and witness at the crematoria and meditate in all weathers on the selection platform, while eating and sleeping in the quarters of the Nazi officers who, half a century before, sent more than a million Jews to their deaths. Clements Olin, an American academic of Polish descent, has come along, ostensibly to complete research on the death of a survivor, even as he questions what a non-Jew can contribute to the understanding of so monstrous a catastrophe. As the days pass, tensions, both political and personal, surface among the participants, stripping away any easy pretense to healing or closure. Finding himself in the grip of emotions and impulses of bewildering intensity, Olin is forced to abandon his observer s role and to embrace a history his family has long suppressed--and with it the yearnings and contradictions of being fully alive. In Paradise is a brave and deeply thought-provoking novel by one of our most stunningly accomplished writers. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781594633171

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