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Emperor of the Air
Emperor of the Air
$14.95
Paperback
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • 9780618004140
  • Harper/Perennial

Ethan gives an overview of the book:

Canin’s outstanding debut, winner of a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, gathers nine stories originally published in the Atlantic, Esquire and Ploughshares, among others; two were selected for the Best American Short Stories 1985 and 1986. At twenty-seven, the gifted author, a Harvard Medical School student who was a creative writing instructor and an Iowa Review editor, informs a technical expertise with a keen sense of the dynamics of the human psyche. His far-reaching vision encompasses “The Year of Getting to Know Us,” where the protagonist recognizes in himself aspects of his father’s disturbing uncommunicativeness, and “American Beauty,” where a teenager cannot escape his bitter older brother’s grim prescription of life’s inevitabilities: “You’re going to turn into a son of a bitch, just like me.” Several of the marvelous tales showcase love’s singular,...
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Canin’s outstanding debut, winner of a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, gathers nine stories originally published in the Atlantic, Esquire and Ploughshares, among others; two were selected for the Best American Short Stories 1985 and 1986. At twenty-seven, the gifted author, a Harvard Medical School student who was a creative writing instructor and an Iowa Review editor, informs a technical expertise with a keen sense of the dynamics of the human psyche. His far-reaching vision encompasses “The Year of Getting to Know Us,” where the protagonist recognizes in himself aspects of his father’s disturbing uncommunicativeness, and “American Beauty,” where a teenager cannot escape his bitter older brother’s grim prescription of life’s inevitabilities: “You’re going to turn into a son of a bitch, just like me.” Several of the marvelous tales showcase love’s singular, redemptive powers: an elderly couple revives their comatose relationship in “We Are Nighttime Travelers”; a daughter bribes a guard to release her mother who is caught shoplifting in “Pitch Memory”; and a straight-arrow husband lies for his wife in “Where We Are Now.” With a fine attention to detail, Canin continually surprises readers as he casts the mundane in new light (for example, the young narrator of “Star Food” unloads bags of potato chips in their aluminum racks “as if I were putting children to sleep in their beds”).

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Ethan

Ethan Canin’s first short stories, collected in Emperor of the Air when he was twenty-seven, dazzled the literary world. His next five books, Blue River, For Kings and Planets, The Palace Thief, Carry Me Across the Water and ...

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Published Reviews

Nov.16.2007

“The universe indeed repeated itself,” Kleinman thinks at one point, and it's this complex, almost musical interplay of reminiscence and current experience that Carry Me Across the Water captures...

Nov.16.2007

While his subject matter is highly contemporary—fantasy baseball camps, divorce, the difficulty parents and children have communicating, the relevance of education to success in business—Mr. Canin's...