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How Fiction Works by James Wood

Title How Fiction Works
Author James Wood
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2008-07-22
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 288
ISBN 1429908653
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

What makes a story a story? What is style? What's the connection between realism and real life? These are some of the questions James Wood answers in How Fiction Works, the first book-length essay by the preeminent critic of his generation. Ranging widely—from Homer to David Foster Wallace, from What Maisie Knew to Make Way for Ducklings—Wood takes the reader through the basic elements of the art, step by step. The result is nothing less than a philosophy of the novel—plainspoken, funny, blunt—in the traditions of E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel and Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. It sums up two decades of insight with wit and concision. It will change the way you read.

How Fiction Works by James Wood

Title How Fiction Works
Author James Wood
Publisher Random House
Release Date 2010-12-07
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 208
ISBN 9781446414484
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Rediscover this deep, practical anatomy of the novel from 'the strongest ... literary critic we have' (New York Review of Books) in this new revised 10th anniversary edition. What do we mean when we say we 'know' a fictional character? What constitutes a 'telling' detail? When is a metaphor successful? Is realism realistic? Why do most endings of novels disappoint? In the tradition of E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel and Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel, How Fiction Works is a study of the main elements of fiction, such as narrative, detail, characterization, dialogue, realism, and style. In his first full-length book of criticism, one of the most prominent critics of our time takes the machinery of story-telling apart to ask a series of fundamental questions. Wood ranges widely, from Homer to Beatrix Potter, from the Bible to John Le Carré, and his book is both a study of the techniques of fiction-making and an alternative history of the novel. Playful and profound, it incisively sums up two decades of bold, often controversial, and now classic critical work, and will be enlightening to writers, readers, and anyone interested in what happens on the page. 'Should find a place on every novel-lover's shelf. It has the quality all useful works of criticism should have: refined taste, keen observation, and the ability to make the reader argue, passionately, with it' Financial Times

How Fiction Works by James Wood

Title How Fiction Works
Author James Wood
Publisher Macmillan
Release Date 2008-07-22
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 265
ISBN 0374173400
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A book-length essay by the forefront literary critic takes readers on a philosophical tour of the art of the novel, in a wide-ranging piece that explores such topics as the definition of style, the connection between realism and real life, and the qualities that make a story. By the author of The Irresponsible Self.

How Fiction Works by Oakley Hall

Title How Fiction Works
Author Oakley Hall
Publisher Writer's Digest Books
Release Date 2003-12-15
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 228
ISBN 1582972931
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Think of your fiction like a clock, a marvel of mainsprings and wheels, pinions and pendulums. It's an extraordinary organization of diverse elements, channeling energy and tension into the regular coordination of action and reaction, rotating gears and moving hands. &break;&break;Oakley Hall, writing teacher emeritus, invites you as his apprentice to study fiction's inner workings, the pegs and screws upon which a good story depends. You'll find the elements of fiction examined and illuminated, with insights into how they must interact to create a distinctive story. &break;&break;In sharing lessons taught by years of experience and by citing examples from dozens of esteemed writers, Hall makes working alongside a master thoroughly pleasurable, as well as an invaluable opportunity to craft fiction that is tuned like a precision timepiece.

How Novels Work by John Mullan

Title How Novels Work
Author John Mullan
Publisher OUP Oxford
Release Date 2008-02-14
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780191622922
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Never has contemporary fiction been more widely discussed and passionately analysed; recent years have seen a huge growth in the number of reading groups and in the interest of a non-academic readership in the discussion of how novels work. Drawing on his weekly Guardian column, 'Elements of Fiction', John Mullan examines novels mostly of the last ten years, many of which have become firm favourites with reading groups. He reveals the rich resources of novelistic technique, setting recent fiction alongside classics of the past. Nick Hornby's adoption of a female narrator is compared to Daniel Defoe's; Ian McEwan's use of weather is set against Austen's and Hardy's; Carole Shield's chapter divisions are likened to Fanny Burney's. Each section shows how some basic element of fiction is used. Some topics (like plot, dialogue, or location) will appear familiar to most novel readers; others (metanarrative, prolepsis, amplification) will open readers' eyes to new ways of understanding and appreciating the writer's craft. How Novels Work explains how the pleasures of novel reading often come from the formal ingenuity of the novelist. It is an entertaining and stimulating exploration of that ingenuity. Addressed to anyone who is interested in the close reading of fiction, it makes visible techniques and effects we are often only half-aware of as we read. It shows that literary criticism is something that all fiction enthusiasts can do. Contemporary novels discussed include: Monica Ali's Brick Lane; Martin Amis's Money; Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin; A.S. Byatt's Possession; Jonathan Coe's The Rotters' Club; J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace; Michael Cunningham's The Hours; Don DeLillo's Underworld; Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White; Ian Fleming's From Russia with Love; Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections; Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; Patricia Highsmith's Ripley under Ground; Alan Hollinghurst's The Spell; Nick Hornby's How to Be Good; Ian McEwan's Atonement; John le Carré's The Constant Gardener; Andrea Levy's Small Island; David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas; Andrew O'Hagan's Personality; Orhan Pamuk's My Name Is Red; Ann Patchett's Bel Canto; Ruth Rendell's Adam and Eve and Pinch Me; Philip Roth's The Human Stain; Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated; Carol Shields's Unless; Zadie Smith's White Teeth; Muriel Spark's Aiding and Abetting; Graham Swift's Last Orders; Donna Tartt's The Secret History; William Trevor's The Hill Bachelors; and Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road .

How Fiction Works by Oakley M. Hall

Title How Fiction Works
Author Oakley M. Hall
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2004
Category Fiction
Total Pages 228
ISBN OCLC:1193949173
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Serious Noticing by James Wood

Title Serious Noticing
Author James Wood
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2020-01-14
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 528
ISBN 9780374722043
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The definitive collection of literary essays by The New Yorker’s award-winning longtime book critic Ever since the publication of his first essay collection, The Broken Estate, in 1999, James Wood has been widely regarded as a leading literary critic of the English-speaking world. His essays on canonical writers (Gustav Flaubert, Herman Melville), recent legends (Don DeLillo, Marilynne Robinson) and significant contemporaries (Zadie Smith, Elena Ferrante) have established a standard for informed and incisive appreciation, composed in a distinctive literary style all their own. Together, Wood’s essays, and his bestselling How Fiction Works, share an abiding preoccupation with how fiction tells its own truths, and with the vocation of the writer in a world haunted by the absence of God. In Serious Noticing, Wood collects his best essays from two decades of his career, supplementing earlier work with autobiographical reflections from his book The Nearest Thing to Life and recent essays from The New Yorker on young writers of extraordinary promise. The result is an essential guide to literature in the new millennium.

The Book Against God by James Wood

Title The Book Against God
Author James Wood
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2004-06-01
Category Fiction
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9781429932127
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A Passionate, Profoundly Funny First Novel from "the Best Literary Critic of His Generation" (Adam Begley, Financial Times) Thomas Bunting, the charming, chaotic, and deeply untruthful narrator of James Wood's wonderful first novel, is in despair. His marriage is disintegrating and his academic career is in ruins: instead of completing his philosophy Ph.D. (still unfinished after seven years), he is secretly writing what he hopes will be his masterwork, a vast atheistic project he has privately entitled "The Book Against God." But when his father suddenly falls ill, Thomas returns to the tiny village in the north of England where he grew up and where his father still works as a parish priest. There, Thomas hopes, he may finally be able to communicate honestly with his father, a brilliant and formidable Christian example, and sort out his own wayward life. But Thomas is a chronic liar as well as an atheist, and he finds, instead, that once at home he soon reverts to the evasive patterns of his childhood years—with disastrous results. The story of a husband and wife, a father and son, faith and disbelief, and a hero who couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it, The Book Against God is at once hilarious and poignant; it introduces an original comic voice—edgy, elegiac, lyrical, and indignant—and, in the irrepressible Thomas Bunting, one of the strangest philosophers in contemporary fiction.

The Broken Estate by James Wood

Title The Broken Estate
Author James Wood
Publisher Modern Library
Release Date 2013-11-06
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9780804151900
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This book recalls an era when criticism could change the way we look at the world. In the tradition of Matthew Arnold and Edmund Wilson, James Wood reads literature expansively, always pursuing its role and destiny in our lives. In a series of essays about such figures as Melville, Flaubert, Chekhov, Virginia Woolf, and Don DeLillo, Wood relates their fiction to questions of religious and philosophical belief. He suggests that the steady ebb of the sea of faith has much to do with the revo- lutionary power of the novel, as it has developed over the last two centuries. To read James Wood is to be shocked into both thinking and feeling how great our debt to the novel is. In the grand tradition of criticism, Wood's work is both commentary and literature in its own right--fiercely written, polemical, and richly poetic in style. This book marks the debut of a masterly literary voice.

Title The Irresponsible Self
Author James Wood
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date 2005-04-01
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 320
ISBN 1429923814
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"James Wood has been called our best young critic. This is not true. He is our best critic; he thinks with a sublime ferocity."--Cynthia Ozick Following the collection The Broken Estate--which established James Wood as the leading critic of his generation--The Irresponsible Self confirms Wood's preeminence, not only as a discerning judge but also as an appreciator of contemporary novels. In twenty-three passionate, sparkling dispatches, he effortlessly connects his encyclopedic, passionate understanding of the literary canon with an equally earnest and appreciative view of the most discussed authors writing today, including Franzen, Pynchon, Rushdie, DeLillo, Naipaul, David Foster Wallace, and Zadie Smith. This collection includes Wood's famous and controversial attack on "hysterical realism", and his sensitive but unsparing examinations of White Teeth and Brick Lane. The Irresponsible Self is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about modern fiction.

The Pale Of Settlement by Margot Singer

Title The Pale of Settlement
Author Margot Singer
Publisher University of Georgia Press
Release Date 2010-04-15
Category Fiction
Total Pages 232
ISBN 9780820335865
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In settings from Jerusalem to Manhattan, from the archaeological ruins of the Galilee to Kathmandu, The Pale of Settlement gives us characters who struggle to piece together the history and myths of their family’s past. This collection of linked short stories takes its title from the name of the western border region of the Russian empire within which Jews were required to live during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Susan, the stories’ main character, is a woman trapped in her own border region between youth and adulthood, familial roots in the Middle East and a typical American existence, the pull of Jewish tradition and the independence of a secular life. In “Helicopter Days,” Susan discovers that the Israeli cousin she grew up with has joined a mysterious cult. “Lila’s Story” braids Susan’s memories of her grandmother—a German Jew arriving in Palestine to escape the Holocaust—with the story of her own affair with a married man and an invented narrative of her grandmother’s life. In “Borderland,” while trekking in Nepal, Susan meets an Israeli soldier who carries with him the terrible burden of his experience as a border guard in the Gaza Strip. And in the haunting title story, bedtime tales are set against acts of terrorism and memories of a love beyond reach. The stories of The Pale of Settlement explore the borderland between Israelis and American Jews, emigrants and expatriates, and vanished homelands and the dangerous world in which we live today.

Tremors by Anita Amirrezvani

Title Tremors
Author Anita Amirrezvani
Publisher University of Arkansas Press
Release Date 2013-02-01
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 346
ISBN 9781610755191
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This groundbreaking anthology brings together twenty-seven authors from a wide range of experiences that offer new perspectives on the Iranian American story. The authors in Tremors represent the maturing voice of Iranian American fiction from the vantage point of those who were born and raised in Iran, as well as those writers who reflect a more distant, but still important, connection to their Iranian heritage. Altogether, these narratives capture the diversity of the Iranian diaspora and complicate the often-narrow view of Iranian culture represented in the media. The stories and novel excerpts explore the deeply human experiences of one of the newest immigrant groups to the United States in its attempts to adjust and assimilate in the face of major historical upheavals such as the 1979 Iranian revolution, the hostage crisis, and the attacks of September 11, 2001. The stories set in Iran testify to the resilience, dignity, and humor of a people rich in history and culture.

Title The Nearest Thing to Life
Author James Wood
Publisher Brandeis University Press
Release Date 2015-04-28
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 144
ISBN 9781611687439
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In this remarkable blend of memoir and criticism, James Wood, noted contributor to the New Yorker, has written a master class on the connections between fiction and life. He argues that, of all the arts, fiction has a unique ability to describe the shape of our lives and to rescue the texture of those lives from death and historical oblivion. The act of reading is understood here as the most sacred and personal of activities, and there are brilliant discussions of individual works - among others, Chekhov's story "The Kiss," W.G. Sebald's The Emigrants, and Penelope Fitzgerald's The Blue Flower. Wood reveals his own intimate relationship with the written word: we see the development of a provincial boy growing up in a charged Christian environment, the secret joy of his childhood reading, the links he makes between reading and blasphemy, or between literature and music. The final section discusses fiction in the context of exile and homelessness. The Nearest Thing to LifeÊis not simply a brief, tightly argued book by a man commonly regarded as our finest living critic - it is also an exhilarating personal account that reflects on, and embodies, the fruitful conspiracy between reader and writer (and critic), and asks us to reconsider everything that is at stake when we read and write fiction.

Title The Last Attractor of Chaos
Author Abhinav Singh
Publisher Notion Press
Release Date 2018-04-26
Category Fiction
Total Pages 332
ISBN 9781642492040
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Trying to protect his pregnant wife, scientist Ashwin Rathore gets killed – unexpectedly and unwantedly. A deadly force lurks in the murk that wants her too, but why? Is it because she works for and with the military and Intelligence teams in the country, or is it because she knows something that no one else does?

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Title Cloud Atlas
Author David Mitchell
Publisher Vintage Canada
Release Date 2010-07-16
Category Fiction
Total Pages 528
ISBN 9780307373571
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks | Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize A postmodern visionary and one of the leading voices in twenty-first-century fiction, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending, philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction as profound as it is playful. In this groundbreaking novel, an influential favorite among a new generation of writers, Mitchell explores with daring artistry fundamental questions of reality and identity. Cloud Atlas begins in 1850 with Adam Ewing, an American notary voyaging from the Chatham Isles to his home in California. Along the way, Ewing is befriended by a physician, Dr. Goose, who begins to treat him for a rare species of brain parasite. . . . Abruptly, the action jumps to Belgium in 1931, where Robert Frobisher, a disinherited bisexual composer, contrives his way into the household of an infirm maestro who has a beguiling wife and a nubile daughter. . . . From there we jump to the West Coast in the 1970s and a troubled reporter named Luisa Rey, who stumbles upon a web of corporate greed and murder that threatens to claim her life. . . . And onward, with dazzling virtuosity, to an inglorious present-day England; to a Korean superstate of the near future where neocapitalism has run amok; and, finally, to a postapocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii in the last days of history. But the story doesn’t end even there. The narrative then boomerangs back through centuries and space, returning by the same route, in reverse, to its starting point. Along the way, Mitchell reveals how his disparate characters connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky. As wild as a videogame, as mysterious as a Zen koan, Cloud Atlas is an unforgettable tour de force that, like its incomparable author, has transcended its cult classic status to become a worldwide phenomenon. Praise for Cloud Atlas “[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”—The New York Times Book Review “One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers “Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”—People “The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon “Cloud Atlas ought to make [Mitchell] famous on both sides of the Atlantic as a writer whose fearlessness is matched by his talent.”—The Washington Post Book World “Thrilling . . . One of the biggest joys in Cloud Atlas is watching Mitchell sashay from genre to genre without a hitch in his dance step.”—Boston Sunday Globe “Grand and elaborate . . . [Mitchell] creates a world and language at once foreign and strange, yet strikingly familiar and intimate.”—Los Angeles Times From the Hardcover edition.

How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler

Title How to Read a Book
Author Mortimer J. Adler
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2011-05-10
Category Language Arts & Disciplines
Total Pages 426
ISBN 1439144834
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

With half a million copies in print, How to Read a Book is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader, completely rewritten and updated with new material. A CNN Book of the Week: “Explains not just why we should read books, but how we should read them. It's masterfully done.” –Farheed Zakaria Originally published in 1940, this book is a rare phenomenon, a living classic that introduces and elucidates the various levels of reading and how to achieve them—from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading. Readers will learn when and how to “judge a book by its cover,” and also how to X-ray it, read critically, and extract the author’s message from the text. Also included is instruction in the different techniques that work best for reading particular genres, such as practical books, imaginative literature, plays, poetry, history, science and mathematics, philosophy and social science works. Finally, the authors offer a recommended reading list and supply reading tests you can use measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension, and speed.

Title Consciousness the Novel
Author David Lodge
Publisher Harvard University Press
Release Date 2002
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 320
ISBN 0674009495
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Identifies literature as the richest record of human consciousness, revealing why it is not inconsistent with scientific knowledge and explaining through a series of essays on classic writers what novels can tell readers about the creative writing process. (Literature)

Pompeii by Robert Harris

Title Pompeii
Author Robert Harris
Publisher Fawcett Books
Release Date 2004
Category Fiction
Total Pages 349
ISBN 9780345475671
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Recently placed in charge of the Aqua Augusta, the aqueduct that brings fresh water to thousands of people around the bay of Naples, Roman engineer Marius Primus struggles to discover why the aqueduct has ceased delivering water and heads to the slopes of Mount Vesuvius to find the problem, only to come face to face with an impending catastrophe of mammoth proportions. Reprint.

Title An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
Author Hank Green
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2018-09-25
Category Fiction
Total Pages 352
ISBN 9781524743451
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Sparkling with mystery, humor and the uncanny, this is a fun read. But beneath its effervescent tone, more complex themes are at play.” —San Francisco Chronicle In his wildly entertaining debut novel, Hank Green—cocreator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers, and SciShow—spins a sweeping, cinematic tale about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realizing she's part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have possibly imagined. The Carls just appeared. Roaming through New York City at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship—like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor—April and her best friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world—from Beijing to Buenos Aires—and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight. Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us. Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how the social internet is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring for the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye. The beginning of an exciting fiction career, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a bold and insightful novel of now.

Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor

Title Forever Amber
Author Kathleen Winsor
Publisher Chicago Review Press
Release Date 2012-02-01
Category Fiction
Total Pages 976
ISBN 9781613745144
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Abandoned pregnant and penniless on the teeming streets of London, 16-year-old Amber St. Clare manages, by using her wits, beauty, and courage, to climb to the highest position a woman could achieve in Restoration England—that of favorite mistress of the Merry Monarch, Charles II. From whores and highwaymen to courtiers and noblemen, from events such as the Great Plague and the Fire of London to the intimate passions of ordinary—and extraordinary—men and women, Amber experiences it all. But throughout her trials and escapades, she remains, in her heart, true to the one man she really loves, the one man she can never have. Frequently compared to Gone with the Wind, Forever Amber is the other great historical romance, outselling every other American novel of the 1940s—despite being banned in Boston for its sheer sexiness. A book to read and reread, this edition brings back to print an unforgettable romance and a timeless masterpiece.