First Light

First Light

by Charles Baxter


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Hugh Welch has cared for his little sister Dorsey ever since they were children, when Dorsey looked at him as though he were a god. But when Dorsey returns to their small Michigan hometown with a successful career as an astrophysicist and a happy family life, Hugh, who has a long habit of worrying about his sister, realizes that it’s his own life he has to cure, not Dorsey’s. As they explore their complicated history over one hot Fourth of July weekend, they’ll come to terms with the experiences that put such distance between them and discover the imperfect love that ties them as siblings.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307948519
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/14/2012
Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 797,245
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Charles Baxter is the author of the novels The Feast of Love (nominated for the National Book Award), The Soul Thief, Saul and Patsy, and Shadow Play, and the collections Gryphon, Believers, A Relative Stranger, Through the Safety Net, and Harmony of the World. He lives in Minneapolis and teaches at the University of Minnesota and in the M.F.A. Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

May 13, 1947

Place of Birth:

Minneapolis, Minnesota


B. A., Macalester College, 1969; Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1974

What People are Saying About This

J. M. Coepzee

"A book one reads with pleasure from the first word to the last for the delicacy and truth of its perceptions."

Susan Kenney

"He gives so much knowledge and depth and feeling to his characters and through them, to the reader, that the whole fabric of the novel, from firecrackers in the back yard to the Big Bang theory of the universe, seems to shimmer with a luminous clarity of detail that is absolutely breathtaking."

Customer Reviews

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First Light 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'First Light' is a unique and beautiful story about family and the relationships that define who we are. Baxter's writing is, as always, luminous and yet full of longing. He is a master of creating characters whose lives become intertwined with our own. This book is a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book about 7 years ago in college - time has drained some of the details from my memory, but the pleasure I got from reading it has stayed with me, so much so that I may buy it again. I heard the author speak not long after reading it and enjoyed that, too. The backwards narrative technique, in my opinion, is the best part about the book.
novelcommentary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought Feast of Love was a wonderful story whose characters stayed with me for a long time. First Light I found in a wharehouse bookstore and it's meager price tag made me jump at the chance to read more by this author. This was a different kind of story, an almost experiment where a relationship is traced backward-- right to birth. As interesting as that was, all the common conventions of novel reading were throwned out the window. the relationship that we see at the start of the novel has to be concluded to be a result of the preceding chapters. --Like I said, interesting but now quite satisfying.
readaholic12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A revelation, deeply touching. Great writing, construction, excellent pacing and characterizations. A top shelf favorite, the first in my Charles Baxter addiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I got to the end of this novel I cried for twenty minutes, it was so beautiful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gets up and stretches walking out