Richard B Wright Clara Callan

ISBN 13: 9780060506070

Clara Callan

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In a small town in Canada, Clara Callan reluctantly takes leave of her sister, Nora, who is bound for New York. It's a time when the growing threat of fascism in Europe is a constant worry, and people escape from reality through radio and the movies. Meanwhile, the two sisters -- vastly different in personality, yet inextricably linked by a shared past -- try to find their places within the complex web of social expectations for young women in the 1930s.

While Nora embarks on a glamorous career as a radio-soap opera star, Clara, a strong and independent-minded woman, struggles to observe the traditional boundaries of a small and tight-knit community without relinquishing her dreams of love, freedom, and adventure. However, things aren't as simple as they appear -- Nora's letters eventually reveal life in the big city is less exotic than it seems, and the tranquil solitude of Clara's life is shattered by a series of unforeseeable events. These twists of fate require all of Clara's courage and strength, and finally put the seemingly unbreakable bond between the sisters to the test.

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Review:

"A master story-teller." -- The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

"A classic page-turner." -- Quill & Quire

"Entertaining." -- Boston Globe

"Mr. Wright writes with the apparent ease of breathing, and he is both touching and very very funny."--New York Times (on THE AGE OF LONGING)

"A compelling narrative and characters that brim with humanity."--Winnipeg Free Press

"A near-perfect miniature: precisely written, true in voice and setting."--Toronto Star (on THE AGE OF LONGING)

"An amazing feat [that] remind some readers of the American poet Elizabeth Bishop."--Publishers Weekly

"A compelling story of perseverance and quiet triumph."--Washington Post

"A classic page-turner."--Quill & Quire

"Entertaining."--Boston Globe

From the Back Cover:

A brilliant depiction of a world caught on the brink of change, 'Clara Callan' is a subtle but shocking examination of loneliness, loss of faith and courage against the odds.

It is the late 1930's in Canada, era of the Great Depression. Clara Callan leads a quiet, unremarkable life as a respectable, small-town schoolteacher. Her sister Nora, flightier, prettier, has escaped into the glamour and excitement of New York where she has landed a star role in a radio soap opera.

But Clara's sensible façade belies her passion for love and adventure, and events prove much less predictable than she could ever have imagined. Her dark and fraught journey from innocence to experience, negotiating the pre-Pill, pre-liberation difficulties that then faced all young women, tests her strength and resolve to the limit – and comes to prove that the two sisters have more in common than they thought possible.

Winner of the Giller Prize and the Governor-General's Award for Fiction – Canada's two pre-eminent literary prizes – 'Clara Callan' is a novel of extraordinary power and profundity.

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