All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost

All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost

3.5 7
by Lan Samantha Chang, Ramon de Ocampo

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A haunting story of art, ambition, love, and friendship, delivered in elegant, exacting prose.See more details below


A haunting story of art, ambition, love, and friendship, delivered in elegant, exacting prose.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly Audio
Despite a fine performance by Ramon De Ocampo, Chang's novel makes a poor transition to audio. When Roman and Bernard, two poetry students at a prestigious writing school, vie for the approval of their renowned professor, Miranda Sturgis, they find their friendship sorely tested. De Ocampo's narration is crisp, nimble, and well paced; his voices are appropriate and varied--the Southern drawl he gives Roman's grandmother is a treat, and his rendition of a drunken Roman is a splash of welcome humor in this otherwise serious story. Despite Ocampo's best efforts, however, the listener's attention and patience will peter out; Chang's characters invite little sympathy or investment. A Norton hardcover (Reviews, July 26). (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“De Ocampo artfully moves the well-written novel forward. Chang’s thought-provoking novel translates well to audio.”

“Sublime reading [by] narrator Ramón De Ocampo.”
Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
Chang, director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and author of Hunger and Inheritance, sticks close to home as she follows Roman Morris from his days as an M.F.A. student in the late 1980s to his soaring career as a published poet, tenured professor, and Pulitzer Prize winner. Unfortunately, the book lends credence to the clichés that plague modern poets and the institutions that foster them: wine-fueled workshops are held by candlelight, and Roman's fantasies about his talented, beautiful, and aloof workshop professor lead to a student-teacher affair. Roman's eventual success brings out his resentment of the academy and its favoritism and politics, but this is a work of fiction, and the championing of creative writing programs should not be its cause. In Chang's hands, the world of poetry is a cliché; instead of a novel, she delivers a case study of the modern poet with little bearing in reality and characters as one-dimensional as the premise. While the language is well crafted, readers may be disappointed by the lack of quality storytelling. (Sept.)
“Starred Review: Among the many threads Chang elegantly pursues—the fraught relationships between mentors and students, the value of poetry, the price of ambition—it is her indelible portrait of the loneliness of artistic endeavor that will haunt readers the most in this exquisitely written novel about the poet’s lot.”
Adam Haslett
“All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost offers a starkly honest portrait of people caught up in the drive to write and of the personal bargains and self-deceptions that such an ambition can entail. Lan Samantha Chang was brave to write this book, to turn her novelist's eye onto a world she knows intimately, and her bravery pays off in the unflinching final scenes.”
Scott Spencer
“What a lovely, fierce book about love, betrayal, loss, and time’s dominion over us all. Fleet, preternaturally attuned to the ebb and flow of personal history, All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost is, well, unforgettable. Lan Samantha Chang sees deeply into her characters, right down to their souls, but she wields her intelligence with the compassion of a master.”
Howard Norman
“Lucy, Roman, Bernard, and Miranda are characters you won’t soon forget. In their passionate, demanding, wrecked, and joyous literary lives, they thrive on their belief in language’s absolute authority. This deeply affecting—and elegant—novel by Lan Samantha Chang definitely offers what Leonard Cohen calls his whole career in song: All day and night, versions of the erotic. I wish I could live long enough to discover this novel in an attic trunk a hundred years in the future, and exclaim, so this is what ‘poetic education’ really meant.”
Library Journal
Miranda Sturgis is a genius professor of poetry at a renowned writing school who "bludgeons" her students with her critiques; she is cold, aloof, distant, and elusive. Yet Roman remains haunted by Miranda long after their grad-school affair, even as he, too, becomes a professor and an award-winning poet. In this melancholy tale of love, loss, and loneliness ultimately emphasizing that the cost of real literary success is a lonely life, author Chang (Inheritance) mines a world familiar to her: she is herself a University of Iowa English professor and director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Despite the subject matter, there is little actual poetry to this book, but, through his sublime reading, narrator Ramón De Ocampo manages to poeticize it. Those liking Muriel Barbery's Elegance of the Hedgehog, also available from HighBridge Audio, may enjoy. ["With her simple, elegant style, Chang achieves a clarity that few writers accomplish," read the review of the Norton hc, LJ 8/10.—Ed.]—Terry Ann Lawler, Phoenix P.L.

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Product Details

HighBridge Company
Publication date:
Edition description:
Unabridged; 6 hours on 5 CDs
Product dimensions:
2.00(w) x 3.50(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

LAN SAMANTHA CHANG’s fiction has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Story and The Best American Short Stories 1994 and 1996. Chang is the author of the award-winning books Hunger and Inheritance, and the novel All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost. She is the recipient of the Wallace Stegner and Truman Capote fellowships at Stanford University. She also received, from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a Teaching-Writing fellowship and a Michener-Copernicus fellowship. Her many awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, and she was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she directs the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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