Dreamers of the Day

ISBN-10: 0345485556
ISBN-13: 9780345485557
Edition: N/A
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Description: "I suppose I ought to warn you at the outset that my present circumstances are puzzling, even to me. Nevertheless, I am sure of this much: My little story has become your history. You won't really understand your times until you understand mine." So  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.00
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/16/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

"I suppose I ought to warn you at the outset that my present circumstances are puzzling, even to me. Nevertheless, I am sure of this much: My little story has become your history. You won't really understand your times until you understand mine." So begins the account of Agnes Shanklin, the charmingly diffident narrator of Mary Doria Russell's compelling new novel,Dreamers of the Day.And what is Miss Shanklin's "little story?" Nothing less than the creation of the modern Middle East at the 1921 Cairo Peace Conference, where Winston Churchill, T. E. Lawrence, and Lady Gertrude Bell met to decide the fate of the Arab worldand of our own. A forty-year-old schoolteacher from Ohio still reeling from the tragedies of the Great War and the influenza epidemic, Agnes has come into a modest inheritance that allows her to take the trip of a lifetime to Egypt and the Holy Land. Arriving at the Semiramis Hotel just as the Peace Conference convenes, Agnes, with her plainspoken American opinionsand a small, noisy dachshund named Rosieenters into the company of the historic luminaries who will, in the space of a few days at a hotel in Cairo, invent the nations of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. Neither a pawn nor a participant at the conference, Agnes is ostensibly insignificant, and that makes her a welcome sounding board for Churchill, Lawrence, and Bell. It also makes her unexpectedly attractive to the charismatic German spy Karl Weilbacher. As Agnes observes the tumultuous inner workings of nation-building, she is drawn more and more deeply into geopolitical intrigue and toward a personal awakening. With prose as graceful and effortless as a seductive float down the Nile, Mary Doria Russell illuminates the long, rich history of the Middle East with a story that brilliantly elucidates today's headlines. As enlightening as it is entertaining,Dreamers of the Dayis a memorable, passionate, gorgeously written novel. From the Hardcover edition.

Mary Doria Russell is a former anatomist, has studied six languages, trained as a paleoanthropologist and is the author of scientific papers on subjects as various as bone biology and cannibalism. Her first novel, The Sparrow, won the 1996 James Tiptree Award, the 1998 BSFA Award and the 1998 Arthur C. Clarke Award and she has also won the Cleveland Arts Council Prize for Literature and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer of Science Fiction. Her second novel, Children of God, is the sequel to The Sparrow. Mary Doria Russell lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband and their son.

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