Exiles: A Novel by Ron Hansen, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Exiles: A Novel

Exiles: A Novel

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by Ron Hansen
     
 

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In December 1875 the steamship Deutschland left Bremen, Germany, bound for America. On board were five nuns, exiled by a ban on religious orders, bound to begin their lives anew in Missouri. Their journey would end when the Deutschland ran aground at the mouth of the Thames and all five drowned. Ron Hansen tells their harrowing story, but also that of

Overview

In December 1875 the steamship Deutschland left Bremen, Germany, bound for America. On board were five nuns, exiled by a ban on religious orders, bound to begin their lives anew in Missouri. Their journey would end when the Deutschland ran aground at the mouth of the Thames and all five drowned. Ron Hansen tells their harrowing story, but also that of the poet and seminarian Gerard Manly Hopkins, and how the shipwreck moved him to write a grand poem, a revelatory work read throughout the world today. Combining a thrilling tragedy at sea, with the seeming shipwreck of Hopkins's own life, "Hansen brilliantly, if soberly, weaves two interrelated story lines into a riveting novel" (Booklist).

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“[An] Elegant, meditative novel . . . [In] the sublime Mariette in Ecstasy, Hansen deftly conveyed the intensity of religious experience that verged on insanity. Exiles, for all its storminess, is a quieter but equally affecting depiction of a spiritually and artistically transcen-dent life.” —The Boston Globe

“Dazzling and beautiful . . . it kept me up after midnight three nights in a row.” —The Washington Post

“One of our finest novelists . . . Hansen conveys a man conflicted by his callings as both a spiritual vessel and a full-blooded artist.” —Enterainment Weekly (Grade: A)

“Ron Hansen sketches a delicate portrait of Hopkins. . . . He brings his usual magic to the task.” —Chicago Tribune

“A shifting, sympathetic depiction of piety and piety's torments . . . a brave meditation on religious experience.” —The News and Observer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312428341
Publisher:
Picador
Publication date:
06/23/2009
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

RON HANSEN's seven novels include The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Atticus, a finalist for the National Book Award.

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4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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This is a truly remarkable book. I enjoyed every page of it, wished it were longer, and was sad to see it end. It's an odd book, made up of two separate stories--the first that of five emigre German nuns en route to the US who are killed in a shipwreck and the second that of poet Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.--that are unified only in the priest's writing of a poem about the nuns. Their stories are small but oddly heroic. And Hansen recounts them in a way that is deeply respectful and moving and yet does not fail to acknowledge the question that was constantly on my mind at least: what they're all doing with their lives in the first place. This book is a true gem.