In 1954 a fisherman is found dead in the nets of his boat, and a local Japanese-American man is charged with his murder. In the course of his trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than one man's guilt. For on San Piedro, memories grow as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries - memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and a Japanese girl; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbours watched.
From David Guterson--bestselling author of Snow Falling on Cedars--comes this emotionally charged, provocative novel about what happens when a fifteen-year-old girl becomes an instrument of divine grace.
Ann Holmes is a fragile, pill-popping teenaged runaway who receives a visitation from the Virgin Mary one morning while picking mushrooms in the woods of North Fork, Washington. In the ensuing days the miracle recurs, and the declining logging town becomes the site of a pilgrimage of the faithful and desperate. As these people flock to Ann--and as Ann herself is drawn more deeply into what is either holiness or madness--Our Lady of the Forest--seamlessly splices the miraculous and the mundane.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
A sweeping, propulsive, darkly humorous new novel by the best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars: a story of destiny, desire, and destruction that reimagines Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex for our own era.
In Seattle in 1962, Walter Cousins, a mild-mannered actuary--“a guy who weighs risk for a living”--takes a risk of his own, and makes the biggest error of his life. He sleeps with Diane Burroughs, the sexy, not-quite-legal British au pair who’s taking care of his children for the summer. Diane gets pregnant and leaves their baby on a doorstep, but not before turning the tables on Walter and setting in motion a tragedy of epic proportions. Their orphaned child, adopted by an adoring family and named Edward Aaron King, grows up to become a billionaire Internet tycoon and an international celebrity--the “King of Search”--who unknowingly, but inexorably, hurtles through life toward a fate he may have no power to shape.
An instant classic--David Guterson’s most daring and dazzling novel yet--that brings a contemporary urgency to one of the greatest stories of all time.
This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
From the author of the best-selling Snow Falling on Cedars, a dazzling new novel about youth and idealism, adulthood and its compromises, and two powerfully different visions of what it means to live a good life.
John William Barry has inherited the pedigree--and wealth--of two of Seattle's elite families; Neil Countryman is blue-collar Irish. Nevertheless, when the two boys meet in 1972 at age sixteen, they're brought together by what they have in common: a fierce intensity and a love of the outdoors that takes them, together and often, into Washington's remote backcountry, where they must rely on their wits--and each other--to survive.
Soon after graduating from college, Neil sets out on a path that will lead him toward a life as a devoted schoolteacher and family man. But John William makes a radically different choice, dropping out of college and moving deep into the woods, convinced that it is the only way to live without hypocrisy. When John William enlists Neil to help him disappear completely, Neil finds himself drawn into a web of secrets and often agonizing responsibility, deceit, and tragedy--one that will finally break open with a wholly unexpected, life-altering revelation.
Riveting, deeply humane, The Other is David Guterson's most brilliant and provocative novel to date.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In 1962, actuary Walter Cousins makes the biggest mistake of his life. When mild-mannered Walter - 'a man who weighs risk for a living' - sleeps with the sharp-tongued, not-quite-legal British au pair, Diane Burroughs, he can have no sense of the magnitude of his error.
For this brief affair sets in motion a tragedy of epic proportions, upending Sophocles's immortal tale of fate, free will, and forbidden desire. At the centre is Ed King, an infant given up for adoption who becomes one of the world's richest and most powerful men. But beneath the sizzling story of Ed's seemingly inexorable rise to fame and fortune is a dark and unsettling destiny, one that approaches with ever-increasing suspense as the book reaches its shattering and surprising conclusion.
An assured, propulsively written epic novel of unstoppable force, Ed King is a classic of contemporary American life: a daringly told story of a man and a myth, of blindness and narcissism, and of the precarious foundations on which carefully constructed lives are built - and timeless stories are created. From the bestselling author of Snow Falling on Cedars, a dazzling, darkly funny, extraordinary modern take on an ancient tragedy, quite unlike anything we've seen before.
Seattle, 1972: Neil Countryman and John William Barry, two teenage boys from very different backgrounds, are at the start of an 800m race. Their lives collide for the first time, and so begins an extraordinary friendship.
As they grow older Neil follows the conventional route of the American dream, but the eccentric, fiercely intelligent John William makes radically different choices, dropping out of college and moving deep into the woods. Convinced it is the only way to live without hypocrisy, John William enlists Neil to help him disappear completely, drawing his oldest friend into a web of secrets and agonising responsibility, deceit and tragedy - one that will finally break open with an unexpected, life-altering revelation.
When Dr Ben Givens left his Seattle home he never intended to return. It was to be a journey past snow-covered mountains to a place of canyons, sagelands and orchards, where, on the verges of the Columbia River, Ben had entered the world and would now take his leave of it.
Ann Holmes seems an unlikely candidate for revelation. A sixteen-year-old runaway, she is an itinerant mushroom picker who lives in a tent. Her past has been hardscrabble. Then one November afternoon, in the foggy woods of North Fork, Washington, the Virgin comes to her, clear as day. Is this delusion, a product of her occasional drug use, or a true calling to God?
Gradually word spreads, and thousands converge upon the already troubled town. For Tom Cross, an embittered logger who's been out of work since his son was paralysed in a terrible accident, the possibility that Ann's visions are real offers a last chance for him and his son. As Father Collins searches both his own soul and Ann's; as Carolyn struggles with her less than admirable intentions; as Tom alternates between despair and hope; Our Lady of the Forest combines suspense, grit and humour in a story of faith at a contemporary crossroad.
Ten sharply observed, funny, and wise new stories from the best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars: stunning explorations of the mysteries of love and our complex desire for connection.
Ranging from youth to old age, the voices that inhabit Problems with People offer tender, unexpected, and always tightly focused accounts of our quest to understand each other, individually, and as part of a political and historical moment. These stories are shot through with tragedy--the long-ago loss of a young boyfriend, a son’s death at sea; poignant reflections upon cultural and personal circumstances--whether it is being Jewish, overweight and single, or a tourist in a history-haunted land; and paradigmatic questions about our sense of reality and belonging. Spanning diverse geographies--all across America, and in countries as distant as Nepal and South Africa--these stories showcase David Guterson’s signature gifts for characterization, psychological nuance, emotional and moral suspense, and evocations of small-town life and the natural world. They celebrate the ordinary yet brightening surprises that lurk within the dramas of our daily lives, as well as the return of a contemporary American master to the form that launched his astonishing literary career.
This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
From the best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars: a poignant, searching memoir about one man's fall into depression in the wake of a national tragedy, and his brave struggle to return to normalcy.
Like most of the country and the world, David Guterson woke up on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, not thinking history was about to change. He was in Washington, D.C., with a group of fellow writers, evaluating grant applications for the National Endowment of the Arts. But before their work day had even begun, the Pentagon was bombed; the Twin Towers were down in New York City; and havoc was wreaked irrevocably on our collective sense of happiness, security, and national pride. Scrambling to get out of the city and back home any way he could, David, along with two fellow writers, rented a car and drove 2,600 miles across the country to Seattle. But the attacks triggered something inside him, a pervasive feeling of hopelessness, fear, despair--a clinical depression that that would not go away. He lost interest in his work, family, friends--his life. Inspired by William Styron's masterful Darkness Visible, Guterson's Descent is the searing account of one man's envelopment by the darkest of human emotions, and his tunneling out. Powerful, intense, and deeply felt, it is at once personal and universally illuminating--a confession from a great literary mind who takes us on a journey of what it feels like, and means, to lose one's grasp on the world--and to find it once more, even if by fumbling in the dark.
An honest, perceptive discussion of children, education, and our common life as a nation by the bestselling author of Snow Falling on Cedars. A high school English teacher, Guterson and his wife educate their own children at home. "A literate primer for anyone who wants to know more about alternatives to the schools" (Kirkus Reviews). Index.
By the author of "Snow Falling On Cedars", this collection of short stories are mainly narrated by older men, recounting the wrong turns and lost opportunities that have occurred in their lives. They remember their mistakes, their lies and their first loves with intense and lingering recollections.
A "finely wrought, flawlessly written" novel (New York Times Book Review), set on a small island in the Puget Sound, that is "at various moments a courtroom drama, an interracial love story, and a war chronicle" (San Francisco Chronicle). "Guterson has fashioned something haunting and true" (Pico Iyer, Time). Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award. A fall 1999 major motion picture.
It is mid-October, 1997, harvest time in the Columbia Basin of central Washington state, a rich apple- and pear-growing region. Ben Givens, recently widowed, is a retired heart surgeon, once admired for his steadiness of hand, his precision, his endurance. He has terminal colon cancer. While Ben does not readily accept defeat, he is determined to avoid suffering rather than engage it. And so, accompanied by his two hunting dogs, he sets out through the mythic American West-sage deserts, yawning canyons, dusty ranches, vast orchards-on his last hunt. The main issues for Ben as a doctor had been tactical and so it would be with his death. But he hadn't considered the persuasiveness of memory-the promise he made to his wife Rachel, the love of his life, during World War II. Or life's mystery. On his journey he meets a young couple who are "forever," a drifter offering left-handed advice that might lessen the pain, a veterinarian with a touch only a heart surgeon would recognize, a rancher bent on destruction, a migrant worker who tests Ben's ability to understand. And just when he thinks there is no turning back, nothing to lose that wasn't lost, his power of intervention is called upon and his very identity tested. Full of humanity, passion, and moral honesty, East of the Mountains is a bold and beautiful novel of personal discovery.
A new couple's first night together is overshadowed by a decades-old story of a lost love. A man takes a two hour walk across Kathmandu to visit his estranged wife in hospital in midst of a Maoist strike. A man accompanies his Holocaust survivor father on a trip to his German city of birth. A newly diagnosed dementia patient misses his last opportunity to see his youngest son. A family is forced to sit through a dinner-time account of the death of their teenage son as their food turns cold on the table. And an unexpected and tender friendship develops between an ailing man and his dog walker.
In Problems with People relationships solidify, crumble and are forged anew. These ten sharply observed stories are imbued with David Guterson's signature gifts for characterisation, psychological nuance, emotional suspense and evocation of the natural world. By turns funny, thought provoking and deeply moving, Guterson deftly taps into the sadness, beauty, joy and complexities of our everyday lives.