American Stranger

by David Plante

On Sale: 01/09/2018

American Stranger

by David Plante

On Sale: 01/09/2018


About the Book

Brought up in a secularized Jewish household on Manhattan’s upper Eastside, Nancy Green knows suspiciously little about her parents’ past. She knows they were World War II Jewish refugees who were able to escape Germany with precious family heirlooms that are constant reminders of a lost life and world Nancy knows very little about. The longing she has for some kind of spiritual connection first leads her into an encounter with an Hassidic Jewish man who, unable to find meaning in his own religion, has taken vows to becomes a monk; and then an involvement with a Catholic boy in Boston where she is studying for her masters degree in English literature. Yvon, trying to escape the clutches of Catholicism and his overbearing mother, finds temporary refuge in Nancy and sees her as an escape from the insular enclave of Franco-Americans where he has spent most of his life. Their highly erotic, tempestuous relationship is frightening to both of them and a tragedy in Yvon’s life eventually pulls them apart. Devastated by the breakup, Nancy ends up marrying a Jewish man from London, hoping to find herself with a man of her own religion. However, this new relationship, pale in comparison to her relationship with Yvon, ends very sadly and regrettably, inspiring Nancy to go back to Boston to track down the man who, she realizes, is the great love of her life.

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Critical Praise

“This emotionally gripping and mystery-swathed novel will keep you entranced, uncertain and feel compelled to read on. We may all be strangers ultimately, and Plante nails that vision in his beautiful, often lyrical prose.” - Providence Journal

“Plante’s exquisitely sensitive novel of displacement, isolation, loss, and longing is rendered in intimate, darkly enrapturing scenes of snow, haunted rooms, and desolate wanderings.” - Booklist

“Plante’s new novel, while modern in setting, seems to exist in a timeless parallel universe. A questing new work from an accomplished writer – elegant, cerebral.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Plante manages to capture the sense of disconnectedness . . . in this riveting novel of wandering souls.” - Library Journal

“American Stranger is a beautiful novel, profound and subtle, on the rootlessness of people in worlds foreign to them and their search for self, or what remains of them in that search…incantatory.” - Le Monde

“The novel bathes in a strange light, like an aquarium whose water is scandalously clear. It is modern, fast, painful, reminiscent of some small independent movies, stylish and smart movies like John Yates’1969 film John and Mary. The author has an uncanny ability to slip into the shoes of a woman, to know what she is thinking, what she feels.” - Le Figaro

“There is something magnetic, even hypnotic in American Stranger, a novel born aloft by prayer and incantation. Through the meanderings of Nancy's journey in love, Plante seizes the eternal theme of the quest for identity, but invests it with a singular aura and transforms a familiar subject into Terra incognita. The question of religion, especially Jewishness, nourishes the novel and gives it its full depth of field.” - Les InRocks

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781883285739
  • ISBN 10: 1883285739
  • Imprint: Delphinium
  • On Sale: 01/09/2018
  • Pages: 275
  • List Price:31.00 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / General

American Stranger by David Plante

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