Renowned as one of America's foremost researchers of the world's favorite gem, Matthew Hart has produced a gem of his own in the fascinating exposé, Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession.
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Place of Birth:
|Barnes & Noble 2002 Discover Awards - Second Place: Nonfiction|
|Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession|
With a miner's eye for detail and a jeweler's appreciation for beauty, Hart illuminates our fascination with the most seductive of stones, taking readers through the basics of the diamond's origins to the story behind the legendary DeBeers empire, which taught the world that "A Diamond Is Forever." A Winter 2002 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, Diamond snared the second place spot in the nonfiction category this year.
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|Hart's Book Club Pick|
|In our interview, when we asked Hart what book he thought would make an ideal selection for a club discussion, he mentioned works by favorite author Halldor Laxness. "Don't start with Independent People, though," Hart warns, "because everyone will want to just stumble into the sea to escape. Start with Paradise Reclaimed, which has a great introduction by Jane Smiley, which you should read after reading the book."|
|Early Influence||Peer Praise|
|The Alexandria Quartet|
Set in Egyptian Alexandria in the 1930s and '40s, these four interlocking novels had an early effect on Hart, who read them at sixteen. Recalls Hart in our Barnes & Noble.com interview, "the life depicted by Durrell seemed very dissolute, which appealed to me."
|The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession|
Orchid Thief author Susan Orlean, a regular contributor to The New Yorker and a fellow writer obsessed with, well, obsession, says of Hart's work: "Diamond is a clear-eyed, sharp, intriguing book." In our interview, Hart returns the favor, saying, "I'd walk a mile for anything by Susan Orlean."