Emperor of the Air

Emperor of the Air

4.0 3
by Ethan Canin
     
 

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EMPEROR OF THE AIR "explores tricky family relationships and tender moments of self-discovery with a voice of compassion rarely found in contemporary short fiction" (San Francisco Chronicle). Whether his characters are struggling to save trees in their yards, their marriages, or themselves, Cannin renders their moments of revelation with rich observation, energy,

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Overview

EMPEROR OF THE AIR "explores tricky family relationships and tender moments of self-discovery with a voice of compassion rarely found in contemporary short fiction" (San Francisco Chronicle). Whether his characters are struggling to save trees in their yards, their marriages, or themselves, Cannin renders their moments of revelation with rich observation, energy, humor, and grace.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The stories prove Canin guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of brilliance." Boston Globe

"A series of shots that find their target with devastating accuracy and frequent grace." The Los Angeles Times

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Canin's outstanding debut, winner of a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, gathers nine stories originally published in the Atlantic, Esquire and Ploughshares, among others; two were selected for the Best American Short Stories 1985 and 1986. At 27, the gifted author, a Harvard Medical School student who was a creative writing instructor and an Iowa Review editor, informs a technical expertise with a keen sense of the dynamics of the human psyche. His far-reaching vision encompasses ``The Year of Getting to Know Us,'' where the protagonist recognizes in himself aspects of his father's disturbing uncommunicativeness, and ``American Beauty,'' where a teenager cannot escape his bitter older brother's grim prescription of life's inevitabilities: ``You're going to turn into a son of a bitch, just like me.'' Several of the marvelous tales showcase love's singular, redemptive powers: an elderly couple revives their comatose relationship in ``We Are Nighttime Travelers''; a daughter bribes a guard to release her mother who is caught shoplifting in ``Pitch Memory''; and a straight-arrow husband lies for his wife in ``Where We Are Now.'' With a fine attention to detail, Canin continually surprises readers as he casts the mundane in new light (for example, the young narrator of ``Star Food'' unloads bags of potato chips in their aluminum racks ``as if I were putting children to sleep in their beds''). (February 3)
Library Journal
This collection is the deserving winner of a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship. The nine stories show their young author to be a worthy successor to such distinguished past winners as Philip Roth, Elizabeth Bishop, and Robert Penn Warren. Writing primarily in the first person, Canin speaks convincingly in a variety of fictional voices: a deprived Iowa teenager, a 69-year-old astronomy teacher, a troubled husband in southern California, a young woman harried by her mother's disappointments. Canin's ordinary Americans are memorable individuals caught in situations leading to sudden, still moments of comprehension. This is an engrossing achievement, recommended for all fiction collections.Starr E. Smith, Georgetown Univ. Lib., Washington, D.C.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618004140
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/01/1999
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
788,046
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.44(d)

Meet the Author

Ethan Canin lives in Iowa City and San Francisco.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Iowa City, IA
Date of Birth:
July 19, 1960
Place of Birth:
Ann Arbor, MI
Education:
A.B., Stanford, 1982; M.F.A., University of Iowa, 1984; M.D., Harvard Medical School, 1991
Website:
http://www.ethancanin.com/

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Emperor of the Air 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I did not love every story in this book, as a whole I found it to be very entertaining.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book but during my reading I was confused about the tense that was going on. In the beginning of the story a man is talking. Then as the book progresses the person changes to a female. I was very confused at this point. If you would like to help me understand please feel free to email me at NAbaF00. Label it as book help. Thanks.