Exiles in the Garden

Exiles in the Garden

by Ward Just
2.5 14

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Overview

Exiles in the Garden by Ward Just

"One of the most astute writers of American fiction" (New York Times Book Review) delivers the resonant story of Alec Malone, a senator’s son who rejects the family business of politics for a career as a newspaper photographer. Alec and his Swiss wife, Lucia, settle in Georgetown next door to a couple whose émigré gatherings in their garden remind Lucia of all the things Americans are not. She leaves Alec as his career founders on his refusal of an assignment to cover the Vietnam War — a slyly subversive fictional choice from Ward Just, who was himself a renowned war correspondent.

At the center of the novel is Alec’s unforeseen reckoning with Lucia’s long-absent father, Andre Duran, a Czech living out the end of his life in a hostel called Goya House. Duran’s career as an adventurer and antifascist commando is everything Alec’s is not. The encounter forces Alec to confront just how different a life where things — "terrible things, terrible things" — happen is from a life where nothing much happens at all.

Once again, "Ward Just writes the kind of books they say no one writes anymore: smart, well-crafted narratives — wise to the ways of the world — that use fiction to show us how we live" (Joseph Kanon, Los Angeles Times).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547195582
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 07/07/2009
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author


WARD JUST's novels include Exiles in the Garden, Forgetfulness, the National Book Award finalist Echo House, A Dangerous Friend, winner of the Cooper Prize for fiction from the Society of American Historians, and An Unfinished Season, winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award and a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize.

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Exiles in the Garden 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
llamamia More than 1 year ago
Exiles in the Garden was the first book I have read by Ward Just but will not be the last! I am slowly making my way through his previous novels & enjoying each & every one. I normally would not choose books about politics but find Just's characters so real that I am drawn into their lives, truly caring about how they feel. For me, the political & historical content is almost secondary, although none the less important. The conflict that Alec experiences in this novel is typical of many of Just's characters, I now realize, but rather than criticizing the author for this repetition, as one of the reviewers has done, I find this commonality reassuring in that we all try to come to grips with our past & present circumstances. I think the lack of quotation marks is refreshing &, in my opinion, resemble a stream of consciousness delivery. Just's wonderful descriptive writing make the settings come alive & having lived abroad, I can relate to the differences in countries & cultures while the similarities in human feelings exist. I also like the fact that the author does not tie all the knots or bring the endings to a satisfactory climax, but shows respect for the reader's intelligence, allowing them to come to their own conclusions...or not. Most refreshing. Ward Just is my new favorite author:)
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Polly Conlon More than 1 year ago
this is a wonderful read. washington atmosphere, intrigue, interesting male characters...
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