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Ideas of Heaven

A Ring of Stories

Joan Silber (Author, Sarah Lawrence College)

Overview | Inside the Book
 

Shortlisted for the National Book Award: "Joan Silber writes with wisdom, humor, grace, and wry intelligence. Her characters bear welcome news of how we will survive."—Andrea Barrett

Intense in subject yet restrained in tone, these stories are about longings—often held for years—and the ways in which sex and religion can become parallel forms of dedication and comfort. Though the stories stand alone, a minor element in one becomes major in the next. In "My Shape", a woman is taunted by her dance coach, who later suffers his own heartache. A Venetian poet of the 1500s, another storyteller, is introduced to a modern traveler reading Rilke. His story precedes a mesmerizing narrative of missionaries in China. In the final story, Giles, born to a priesthood family, leans toward Buddhism after a grievous loss, and in time falls in love with the dancer of the first story. So deft and subtle is Joan Silber with these various perspectives that we come full circle surprised and enchanted by her myriad worlds. National Book Award finalist. Reading group guide included.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • May 2005
  • ISBN 978-0-393-32687-1
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 224 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Also by Joan Silber All

  1. Book CoverFools: Stories

    Paperback

  2. Book CoverHousehold Words: A Novel

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  3. Book CoverThe Size of the World: A Novel

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