In The Angel Esmeralda, DeLillo finds the freedom to represent the wide range of human experience in contemporary America -- and forces us to confront the uncomfortable shadows lurking in the background. His characters are exposed to their own deep, often unconscious, longings: one man exploits the vulnerability of a woman he's just met, following her home to her apartment and pushing her too far; another finds himself deceiving his wife and beginning an affair. They are subjected to shocking violations, unexpected acts of terror: a woman lives in constant fear of the earthquakes happening all around her; people bear witness to the mysterious abduction of a child from a small park by a stranger. No matter whether he is focused upon the slums of New York or astronauts in orbit around the earth, DeLillo chooses not to turn away from the unsettling manner in which humans are often brought together, or the disquieting truth behind their emotional interactions. DeLillo's world is a timeless present, eerily perceptive and prophetic, in which he creates powerful stories of lust and obsession, of loss and remorse, of grief and ecstasy. For those unfamiliar with his work, this intense and articulate collection offers a wonderful introduction to one of America's greatest living writers. For those already acquainted, it will be a thrilling and significant addition.
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2011: Don DeLillo, a master of using exactly as many words as he needs to paint the sharpest possible picture, has published his first story collection. Written between 1979 and 2011, the nine short pieces in The Angel Esmeralda sketch a handful of moments--the arc of a circumstantial affair, the explosion of a friendship between two teenagers--with the author’s trademark economy. DeLillo knows his context and characters so well, a sliver of them is enough to engage us completely. As one man puts it, floating through space in the collection opener, “The emptier the land, the more luminous and precise the names for its features.” DeLillo’s short fiction is a series of pointillist landscapes; entire worlds spring from the section of the canvas he chooses to frame for us. Lean in and pay attention--every glimpse counts. --Mia Lipman
Amazon Exclusive: Sam Lipsyte Reviews The Angel Esmeralda
Sam Lipsyte is the author of Venus Drive and The Ask.
A note about The Angel Esmeralda: this collection of stories by America's best living novelist is not only an immense joy to read, but it grants one a chance to reflect on something often underappreciated: Don DeLillo's versatility. If you count yourself a DeLillo fan, then you are already intimate with the power, scope and heady, subterranean humor of novels like Underworld, Players, Libra, and White Noise, (well, really, any of his novels apply). You are probably also quite familiar with his wonderfully inventive plays. You've also read his short stories as they appeared infrequently over the years, been dazzled by their surfaces and depths, but maybe overlooked DeLillo's real achievement in the form. I admit I was dazzled, and that I partook in some egregious overlooking, but reading this collection confirms DeLillo as one of our very best short story writers. It's scary.
All of these pieces possess the same cunning, grace and laser-guided prose of his novels, and touch on the great DeLillo themes. "Human Moments in World War III" depicts some pilots in a futuristic fighter during an age when "the banning of nuclear weapons has made the earth safe for war." As the ship describes its orbit the narrator describes his frightful observations about the world, while clinging to "homey emotions" summoned by the voices of old radio shows and a shipment of brightly packaged broccoli. Meanwhile he practices his firing protocol for the devastation to come.
Other more recent fictions include "Baader-Meinhof," a brilliant meditation on terrorism, or our perceptions of it, as well "Midnight in Dostoevsky," which captures the sensitivity and intensity of young philosophy students at a remote college: "At the gym I did my dumb struts on the elliptical and lapsed into spells of lost thought. Idaho, I thought. Idaho, the word, so voweled and obscure. Wasn't where we were, right here, obscure enough for her?" The startling "Hammer and Sickle," about a cellblock of white-collar convicts, and "The Starveling," a heart breaker about obsessed, lonely moviegoers, round out this stunning book.
There is no ignoring the collections subtitle, "Nine Stories," with its nod (and wry challenge) to J.D. Salinger's classic. It's strange to put DeLillo and Salinger in the same sentence. They are so vastly different, except they both, in their respective eras, hugely shaped the sound and direction of American literature. I've read Don DeLillo over and over for more than half my life (it's always more than half, DeLillo might point out, for he has one of the finest ears for the patterns of American speech). The richness of his work, the pleasures on offer--intellectual, visceral, poetic, comic–-are unrivaled. The connections he makes from the data of our lives, and the way he renders these connections into sly, steely, grieving song, remain incomparable. Which is just to say that, in the parlance of this e-commerce context, customers who like writing that stretches and reinvigorates their consciousness, that delivers them bravely to places of fresh feeling and leads them thrillingly through the mysteries and moods of contemporary existence might also enjoy The Angel Esmeralda. --Sam LipsyteAbout the Author:
Don DeLillo, the author of fifteen novels, including Point Omega, Falling Man, White Noise and Libra, has won many honours in America and abroad, including the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work and the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his novel Underworld. In 2010, he received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award. He has also written three plays.
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Descripción 2011. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Hardcover. In The Angel Esmeralda, DeLillo finds the freedom to represent the wide range of human experience in contemporary America -- and forces us to confront the uncomfortable shadows lurking in .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 224 pages. 0.357. Nº de ref. de la librería 9781447207573
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Descripción 2011. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Hardcover. In The Angel Esmeralda, DeLillo finds the freedom to represent the wide range of human experience in contemporary America -- and forces us to confront the uncomfortable shadow.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 224 pages. 0.357. Nº de ref. de la librería 9781447207573