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Shards of Memory

Overview

A young man named Henry sits down with his grandmother, a genial lady still called Baby by everyone, in her Manhattan townhouse where he has lived all his life, to record the history of a spiritual movement that has woven itself into the fabric of their family's lives for four generations. What unfolds is a mesmerizing family saga:  the imperious great-grandmother Elsa and her husband, an Indian poet, whose marriage is as unconventional as the movement they help to found; Baby, their cheerfully ...
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Overview

A young man named Henry sits down with his grandmother, a genial lady still called Baby by everyone, in her Manhattan townhouse where he has lived all his life, to record the history of a spiritual movement that has woven itself into the fabric of their family's lives for four generations. What unfolds is a mesmerizing family saga:  the imperious great-grandmother Elsa and her husband, an Indian poet, whose marriage is as unconventional as the movement they help to found; Baby, their cheerfully pragmatic daughter, married to the aloof English diplomat Graeme; bemused and brooding Renata, Baby and Graeme's daughter, married to an idle dreamer; and finally Henry, Renata's son, who in many ways bears the legacy of all that has gone before. Their lives--and that of the movement's elusive yet ineluctable founder, known only as the Master--intertwine, diverge, and collide with each other in a masterfully orchestrated story spanning the twentieth century and several continents.

By turns brilliantly satiric, insightful, and profoundly moving, Shards Of Memory is a beautifully wrought tale of love and devotion, of family and faith, and of the complex nature of memory itself--a literary tour de force from one of the most distinguished novelists of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Magical . . . [Jhabvala] is one of those rare writers who manages to mock without sneering, to be simultaneously caustic and loving with her creations. She writes with a simplicity reminiscent of . . . E.M. Forster."--The Wall Street Journal

"Master of her craft."--Anne Tyler, The Boston Globe

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Booker Prize-winning novelist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Jhabvala spins a family saga stretching across several generations and continents. (July)
Library Journal
What a captivating cast of characters, and what unorthodox circumstances! Ostensibly about an international spiritual movement headed by a charismatic leader, this novel focuses on four generations of one family. The grandmother and matriarch, Baby, begins the story by relating the family's history and involvement with the Master. She describes the family, including her mother, who left her husband and child to live with another female follower in London. Merchant-Ivory screenwriter Jhabvala (Poet and Dancer, LJ 3/15/93) tells the remainder of the novel from the perspective of Baby's grandson Henry. Henry grew up in a household with his grandmother, his great-grandfather, his mother, and her companion. Eventually, Baby's ex-husband returns to the fold for his final days. It's an eccentric crew exhibiting a great deal of tolerance and affection. The characters are beautifully developed, and the plot advances at a leisurely pace. Recommended for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/95.]-Kimberly G. Allen, MCI Corporate Information Resources Ctr., Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385477239
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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