The Secrets of a Fire King

The Secrets of a Fire King

3.5 7
by Kim Edwards
     
 

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The first story collection from the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Memory Keeper's Daughter

With The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards touched hearts across the nation. In this, her first collection of stories-now with three new stories added-she explores the lives of those who exist on the fringes of society: aSee more details below

Overview

The first story collection from the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Memory Keeper's Daughter

With The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards touched hearts across the nation. In this, her first collection of stories-now with three new stories added-she explores the lives of those who exist on the fringes of society: a fire-eater, an American and his Korean war bride, Madame Curie's maid, and others. Though their tales vary dramatically, each comes up against the barriers of place and circumstance in the most universal of experiences: the quest to discover and understand the elusive mysteries of love. Transporting readers to exotic locations, this beautiful collection reinforces Edwards's presence as an extraordinarily gifted writer.

Editorial Reviews

Scott Veale
The Secrets of a Fire King gives eloquence to [the characters'] astonishing range of discoveries, and leaves the reader entranced. —The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While many debuts rehash the author's personal life, Pushcart Prize winner Edwards presents a first collection of 11 short stories noteworthy for the range of their settings -- America, Europe, Asia -- and for the scope of the author's impressive imagination. Edwards uses the elements (fire, air, water, earth and metal) symbolically to ground her stories as characters move through the various landscapes she has created. An adolescent girl skydives during an emotional crisis; a pair of acrobats works out their private and professional balancing acts; and Madame Curie's cleaning woman becomes fascinated with radium. In the title story, a young carny fire-eater gets into a love quadrangle involving a revival preacher, a virginal country girl and her young brother, but the emotional climax is more than just the expected conflagration. On a quieter note, 'The Invitation' is a beautifully focused tale set in Malaysia, where the societal and the personal worlds clash. Though the book is full of invention, the narrative tone remains strangely constant throughout the stories, no matter the setting or the speaker. Not all of these stories fly, but when Edwards is at her best, her tales read like the work of a wise traveler who returns home with uncommon souvenirs from other lands.
Library Journal
Many of the award-winning stories in this first collection feature strong, pragmatic women as protagonists, usually motivated by love in its broadest sense: A 19-year-old finds hidden strength after skydiving with an unstable boyfriend; a lonely, uprooted Asian woman makes a life in America; the cleaning woman of a famous scientist idolizes her employer despite suffering physically because of his experiments; a wife connects best with her husband during the time of their greatest challenge. Edwards utilizes her perceptual ability and keen eye for detail to delineate believable characters, many of whom are facing unique challenges. Their haunting situations are effectively complemented by unusual settings in Asia, America and Europe. Recommended for all literary collections. -- Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, Maryland
Scott Veale
The Secrets of a Fire King gives eloquence to [the characters'] astonishing range of discoveries, and leaves the reader entranced. -- The New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
"Impeccable, a treasure . . . Edwards's brilliance is evident in the way she constructs a story."
-Chicago Tribune

"Stunning . . . [Edwards's] sinuous prose and endless empathy work their spell. . . . Radiant, original, and passionate, these are memorable stories."
-Andrea Barrett, author of Ship Fever

"The Secrets of a Fire King gives eloquence to an astonishing range of discoveries and leaves the reader entranced."
-The New York Times Book Review

"Beautifully focused ... [Edwards's] tales read like the work of a wise traveler who returns home with uncommon souvenirs from other lands."
-Publishers Weekly

"Striking ... powerful."
-The Boston Globe

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101201770
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/29/2007
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
362,717
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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