Years after her brother Sam's suicide, Sarah Pelton remains unable to fully occupy her world without him in it. Now, while her surviving brothers prepare to sell the family's tenant farm and a young woman's life hangs in the balance, Sarah is forced to confront the life Sam lived and the secrets he left behind. As she assembles the artifacts of her family's history in east Texas in the hope of discovering her own future, images from her work as an anthropologistimages of sacrifice, ritual, and deathhaunt her waking dreams.
In this moving debut novel, Nan Cuba unearths the power of family legacies and the indelible imprint of loss on all our lives.
Nan Cuba is the founder and executive director emeritus of Gemini Ink, a nonprofit literary center, and is currently an assistant professor of English at Our Lady of the Lake University. As an investigative journalist, she reported on the causes of extraordinary violence in publications such as Life and D Magazine. Her stories, poems, and reviews have appeared in Quarterly West, Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Prose, The Bloomsbury Review, and the Harvard Review, among others. She is co-editor of Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers & Artists (Trinity University Press, 2008).
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Nan Cuba received her MFA in fiction from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, is the founder and executive director emeritus of Gemini Ink, a nonprofit literary center (www.geminiink.org), was twice the runner-up for the Dobie Paisano Fellowship, and received a Fundación Valparaiso Residency Grant in Mojácar, Spain. She is currently an assistant professor of English at Our Lady of the Lake University. As an investigative journalist, she reported on the causes of extraordinary violence in publications such as LIFE and D Magazine. Her stories, poems, and reviews have appeared in Quarterly West, Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry & Prose (runner-up for the journal’s fiction award), Bloomsbury Review, and Harvard Review, among others. She is coeditor of Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers & Artists (Trinity University Press, 2008).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Like an archaeologist meticulously excavating a dig of great consequence, Nan Cuba reveals, layer by layer, the history of three linked families, their alliances and mesalliances, and the secrets that threaten to tear the surviving members apart. The author's keen eye, like that of a seasoned natural scientist, misses nothing--from the exquisite details of the natural world to the precisely choreographed ambulation of a paraplegic. I was especially captivated by the narrator, a distinguished professor, who, despite her academic achievements, lives a solitary, even hermetic existence. Dr. Sarah Pelton does not present as a warm and fuzzy character--stand-offish, self-absorbed, determinedly ensconced in her ivory tower--but unresolved grief around the suicide of her cherished older brother reveals the all-too-human self masked by her absorption in scholarship. Pelton's nuanced flashbacks to childhood reveal a very different Sarah: at once the bright, inquisitive daughter of parents preaching tradition and respectability and the sister who idolizes her maverick, self-destructive brother, ever urging her to embrace the unfamiliar and chart her own course. Part coming-of-age story, part spiritual journey, Body and Bread is an intelligent, compassionate narrative that deftly navigates the vital realms of myth and memory, death and rebirth.
I was so disappointed in this book. It did not meet the expectations I had for it from the description. I found it disjointed with way too much detail on archeology that really did not enhance the story line as it was intended to. I never really cared much about the characters either. Yes, Sarah is still grieving and as a result has insulted herself, but I really didn't care. Nor did I find her brothers, even the beloved one, individuals that I would ever care to have lunch with. Yes, the author's eye for description is acute, but feeling did not come through as well.