Annunciation

Overview

Calling upon his full powers as a novelist, David Plante, the author of the celebrated Francoeur trilogy, offers his most complex and powerful novel to date. Written in the masterly prose for which he is renowned, Annunciation, a multilayered novel set in New York and London, Italy and Russia, illuminates the plight of modern man in an apparently random world. In London, Claire's sixteen-year-old daughter, Rachel, is raped on her way home from school; pregnant, she decides to keep the child. Claire, a student of ...
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1994 Hard Back First American Edition New in Very Fine jacket Library of Congress copy collectable! Slight shopwear.

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New York, New York, U.S.A. 1994 Hardcover New 0395680913. FLAWLESS COPY, BRAND NEW, PRISTINE, NEVER OPENED.

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Overview

Calling upon his full powers as a novelist, David Plante, the author of the celebrated Francoeur trilogy, offers his most complex and powerful novel to date. Written in the masterly prose for which he is renowned, Annunciation, a multilayered novel set in New York and London, Italy and Russia, illuminates the plight of modern man in an apparently random world. In London, Claire's sixteen-year-old daughter, Rachel, is raped on her way home from school; pregnant, she decides to keep the child. Claire, a student of art, believes that she must devote herself to helping her daughter find the will to survive. In New York, Claude, an editor of art books, is shocked to discover in himself violent fantasies aroused by his relationship with a sexually demanding but nonloving woman, and he accepts a transfer to London, where he meets Claire and Rachel. When Claire discovers a reference to an unknown painting, of the Annunciation by a Renaissance artist, the lead sends her and Rachel to Italy and then to Russia, where Claude's destiny is irrevocably linked to theirs. In David Plante's skillful prose, Annunciation takes the shape of a quest for meaning, beauty, and love in a world of pain and despair. It is as deep and haunting a work as any novel of recent years, and it confirms David Plante as one of the most talented writers working today.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In contemporary England, New York, Italy and Moscow, a cast of expatriates seeks meaning and communion as they explore mysteries of art and everyday life in this provocative but uneven work. Claire O'Connel is an American art historian in London researching a thesis on Renaissance artist Pietro Testa. When her 16-year-old daughter Rachel is raped and impregnated, Claire acquiesces to the girl's decision to bear the child and rededicates herself to bolstering Rachel's will to live. This goal becomes intertwined with her search for an undocumented Testa painting of the Annunciation, which takes the two women to Lucca, Italy. Claude Ricard, an art book editor for a Manhattan publisher, is saddened by death in his extended family and disillusioned after an ill-fated affair. He accepts a transfer to London, where he finds a new companion, Maurice, an elderly man born in prerevolutionary Russia. These two eventually meet Claire and Rachel and are drawn into their search for the Testa Annunciation, which takes them all to Moscow. Plante ( The Foreigner ) peoples his imaginative tale with rich characterizations and writes with genuine insight into the mixture of faith, understanding and heritage that shapes our reasons for living. In his characters' frequent moments of epiphany, however, his otherwise engaging narrative waxes jarringly melodramatic, turning the potentially sublime into the merely overblown. (May)
Library Journal
The prolific Plante (The Accident, LJ 3/15/ 91) offers a cerebral, geographically evocative tour through London, New York, Lucca, and Moscow, following the merging paths of two unhappy seekers. Art historian Claire O'Connel, never healed from her husband's suicide, now suffers desperately from the rape of her wise young daughter, Rachel, and throws herself into her search for a lost painting. Meanwhile, dark-visioned editor Claude Ricard, haunted by his Russian heritage and his unfulfilling sexual relationship, watches the deaths of the people he needs. Through their mutual new friend, the genial, failing Maurice Kuragin, Claire and Claude intertwine their stories in a moody Moscow denouement marked by sadness and strangeness but also by the possibility of redemption. For serious readers at public libraries.-Janet Ingraham, Worthington P.L., Ohio
Donna Seaman
Known best for his New England-based Francoeur trilogy, Plante moves into fresh territory here and invents a sequence of situations involving cultural displacement and spiritual crises. Claire is an American art historian living in London and researching an obscure Baroque Italian painter named Pietro Testa, whose work enraptures her by nature of its darkness. Claire is coping with the shock of her husband's suicide, a fact she has kept from her lovely 16-year-old daughter, but all her efforts to protect Rachel are useless: Rachel is raped. And worse, she will not be able to heal and forget this violation: she is pregnant and determined to have the child. Desperate to make life tolerable for her daughter, Claire takes them to Italy in pursuit of a lost painting by Testa--an Annunciation of all things--a quest that eventually brings them all the way to Moscow. Meanwhile, on a parallel track, a despondent art book editor in New York is sent to London on assignment. As soon as he meets Claire and Rachel, he is drawn into the emotional intensity that surrounds them. We never know Rachel's mind. She is as beautiful, enigmatic, and influential as a saint. Plante sets her predicament in troubling counterpoint to the miracle of Immaculate Conception and uses this provocative juxtaposition to explore the meaning of innocence and grace and the value of will and ritual. An intense and significant blend of theology and drama, this is a book with lasting impact.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395680919
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/11/1994
  • Pages: 346

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