Louise Stern Ismael and His Sisters

ISBN 13: 9781847089458

Ismael and His Sisters

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9781847089458: Ismael and His Sisters
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Siblings Ismael, Rosie and Cristina are deaf, and so are many in their Maya village. The deaf and hearing alike communicate in sign language, forming a tightly-knit community with an unsophisticated, simple lifestyle. But when Ismael gets into a fight at the local fiesta and flees the village, leaving Rosie and Cristina to fend for themselves, the daily rhythms of village life are disrupted, and all that they trust in comes under threat. Ismael and His Sisters is a remarkable debut novel from the acclaimed author of Chattering. It conjures up a world set apart, made visceral through its concentrated language, where sign language bridges exterior and interior worlds and gives a physical shape to the way we experience the world. It explores the interplay between the powerful forces within us and the dark elemental forces beyond our control, exposing the 'bottomless, hostile ocean' in which we all flounder. This is an extraordinary novel about the power of familial bonds, the barriers we build out of language, the dark elemental forces that threaten to overwhelm us, and above all, what it is like to be human.

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Ismael and His Sisters

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'Stern contrasts the solidity of sign language with the haziness of talk. This creates a weighty cadence but also the chance to see the world through different eyes that only literature can offer' --Financial Times

'A startling first novel... Stern's writing is so visually dramatic that it could be an opera without song' --Jewish Chroncile

'Stern's writing is the perfect antidote to tokenism. It is full of characters carved from knowledge, experience and heart.(That is a description which could easily be applied to) Louise Stern herself: full of character and irrevocably linked with the language of literature.'
The List
'Emotions are describes as physical things, which can be voided from a person and captured in one's hands, spread to the air, and the novel constantly examines what it is to communicate, with words, with hands, with eyes, with skin, all the unvoiced things that pass between siblings' --Observer

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9781847089465: Ismael and His Sisters

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ISBN 10: 1847089461 ISBN 13: 9781847089465
Publisher: Granta Books, 2016
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