Audiobook(Cassette - First edition)

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Overview

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, Diego Matamoras, Neil Munro

A bestseller in Canada, the novel will make readers yearn to share it with others, to read sentences and entire passages aloud, to debate its message, to acknowledge its wisdom. -- boxed and starred, Publishers Weekly
A stunning work. -- starred, Kirkus Reviews
Anne Michaels' fiercely beautiful debut tells the interlocking stories of three men of different generations whose lives are transformed by World War II. Profoundly moving, brilliantly written and emotionally resonant, Fugitive Pieces delves into the most difficult workings of the heart and mind: the grief and healing of remembrance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780864922236
Publisher: Goose Lane Editions
Publication date: 01/01/1998
Series: Between the Covers Collection Series
Edition description: First edition
Pages: 1
Product dimensions: 4.23(w) x 5.52(h) x 1.34(d)

About the Author

Anne Michaels is the author of three highly acclaimed poetry collections: The Weight of Oranges (1986), which won the Commonwealth Prize for the Americas; Miners Pond (1991), which received the Canadian Authors Association Award and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and the Trillium Award (these two volumes were published in a single-volume edition in 1997); and Skin Divers (1999).

Fugitive Pieces (1996) is Anne Michaels’ multi-award-winning, internationally bestselling first novel. In Canada, it was #1, and on the national bestseller list for more than two years. The literary prizes the novel has garnered to date are: In Canada, the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award; the City of Toronto Book Award; the Martin & Beatrice Fischer Award; the Trillium Book Award; and an Award of Merit from Heritage Toronto. In the U.K., the Guardian Fiction Award; the Jewish Quarterly Prize for Fiction; and the Orange Prize for Fiction. In the U.S., the Harold Ribalow Award and a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction. And in Italy, Giuseppe Acerbi Literary Award.

Anne Michaels lives in Toronto, where she is working on her next novel.

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Fugitive Pieces 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
steveiewoolf More than 1 year ago
Jakob Beer is an eleven year old boy who after witnessing the death of his parents is found living within the destroyed Polish city of Biskupin by Athos Roussous, a scientist. Athos takes the boy back to an island in Greece. There on the island of Zakynthos, Athos teaches the boy about the sciences and the world while the Second World War rages on through Europe. The second part of the book is about Ben an expert on meteorology. He meets the sixty year old Jakob at a party in Canada and this encounter changes his life forever.  It is almost impossible to review this book without using the adjective, poetic. After reading the book and then researching the author Anne Michaels it came as no surprise that she has won awards for her poetry; the Commonwealth Prize for the Americas and the Canadian Association Award to name but a few. The language of poetry seeps and bleeds through every sentence, every paragraph and every page. On Zakynthos sometimes the silence shimmers with the overtone of bees. Their bodies roll in the air, powdery with golden weight. The field was heavy with daisies, honeysuckle, and broom. Athos said: “Greek lamentation burns the tongue. Greek tears are ink for the dead to write their lives.” Greece was devastated by the war and the occupation by the German forces. Nearly half a million people died during the occupation and almost all of the Jewish community were wiped out. The island of Zakynthos, where Athos takes Jakob, is symbolic of the ideals and the wonders of the planet that Athos teaches the young Jakob. The population of Zakynthos during WWII showed immense bravery by refusing to hand over a list of the Jewish community to the Nazis for deportation to the death camps. In fact all the Jewish people on the island survived thanks mainly to Mayor Karrer and Bishop Chrysostomos who hid all 275 Jews in rural villages.  Fugitive Pieces is a book about so many things; geology, meteorology, persecution, isolation, archaeology, ideology, inhumanity, identity etc. It weaves these subjects through the lives, loves, families and friends of Athos, Jakob and Ben. All three are all repelled by and fascinated by the world and the people within. All three believe in the need for company but would prefer to sit in their room writing and reading or walking alone through the streets at night. Jakob eschews natural and artificial light for the comfort of darkness. Ben is fascinated by the volatility and unpredictable nature of lightning and twisters.  Weather and nature are as much characters within the book as the main protagonists. They are both the enemy and ally of the main characters. They permeate and suffuse the book with their destructiveness and their beauty.  “We think of the weather as transient, changeable, and above all, ephemeral; but everywhere nature remembers. Trees, for example, carry the memory of rainfall. In their rings we read ancient weather – storms, sunlight, and temperatures, the growing seasons of centuries. A forest shares a history, which each tree remembers even after it has been felled.” Amongst all this beautiful, profound and elegiac language lies the horror of the nature of man. The German occupying force throwing babies from hospital windows while soldiers ‘catch’ them on their bayonets while complaining about the sleeves of their uniform being soaked in blood. The people of Greece die from starvation as the German Army utilise all foodstuffs. Greeks today identify the word occupation with famine and hunger. It is due to the horrors of WWII that the Greeks today were disgusted at the notion of German Chancellor Merkel in 2011 imposing austerity measures on their country. Fugitive Pieces is great piece of literature that is written with aplomb, intelligence and an eye for the poetic. However, it may be that very style of language that will repel as many people as it will attract. The book’s narrative is at times oblique and minimalist. There is no authorial hand-holding through the forest of complexities that the narrative follows. This book won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1997. Having only read four of the six shortlisted books for that year I cannot yet decide if I agree with the judges decision. 
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was boring, confusing, and, overall, a thoroughly unenjoyable reading experience. I felt as if there was a mist in front of the book which preventing me from understanding anything that was occurring. I do not recommend this book and I cautoin anyone who wishes to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful, haunting, profoundly moving novel about the redemptive power of love in the wake of terrible events.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I was so impressed by this outstanding novel that I read four years ago, that I have since been waiting for more works by this incredible author. I keep scanning her name, every three months or so, with the expectation of getting another treat from her. The best poetic novelist I have read in the last ten years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was beautiful at first, with interesting metaphors. But as the book goes on, I can't help but get the feeling that the author was trying too hard to be 'insightful' and 'deep' with her topics, 'beautiful' and 'descriptive' with her language, and 'unique' in her style. I see no coherent plot in this book and I wonder if there is one at all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book had many passages and quotes which I loved. The tidbits are what make this book a thought provoking, intellectual read. I wasn't expecting much out of an assigned book, and the first time I read it I was slightly disappointed. But then, we were told to go back and pick out passages that we liked. I couldn't believe how many little tidbits I could relate to. The story was confusing and haphazard, but the revelations that occurred because of these events made the book worth the confusion. It really is rather deep and insightful. I liked it and recommend it to anyone who'd like a look into the human soul.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the most beautifully written and sinsitive book I have read since Carson McCuller's Heart of a Lonely Hunter. Ms. Michaels - in beautifully poetic prose, took me right into the heart of the characters and what they must face and subsequently do. I found myself in the wall hiding with the boy. I found my heart pounding as he hid in the forest and water. I felt deeply concerned as they approached the border. And truly moved as they moved on. The adult parallels are so beautifully sad adn true to the human experience, that I still find myself moved years after I had read the book. I give it as a gift to everyone I know who loves to read. Her writing is nothing short of poetry. The story is extremely humane and will resonate in me for years and years. (I've re-read ot four times now). I check the weekly NY Times book review in the hopes of finding her next book. Oprah should recommedd this for all readers. It is a truly beautiful book! Truly a gift for our times.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read it for my school; when I started it, I was not expecting myself to enjoy a book that my school is making me read. Then I realized that this book includes every pieces of emotions that I need to live as a human. I believe that this book can be hard and confusing, but don't just look at the surface; there are things that are invisible but very important. You need to think, that is what we should be doing in general. That IS what it means to be human.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the back cover states '..a book that should not so much be read as it should be surrendered to'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was so excited about this book, but was greatly disappointed. Don't waste your time and money on this one. It has to be THE most boring book I've read in ages. And very difficult to read too. Unless if you're truly into poetry and poets and/or Geology or whatever the heck the characters were into, don't bother with this one. A huge disappointment. I want my money back!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Incredable story, beautifully written. Rarely does a novel have such impact. The story, the writing...beyond words!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fugitive Pieces is Canadian poet Anne Michaels' first novel and it is beautiful in the extreme. At the heart of this lovely and moving book is the struggle to understand the despair of loss and the solace of love and, most of all, the difficulty of reconciling the two. The protagonists are two Jewish men, one a Holocaust survivor, the other the son of Holocaust survivor parents. Material such as that explored in Fugitive Pieces could very easily become trite and cliched, but in Michaels' extraordinarily gifted hands suffering, loss and grief become nothing less than transcendent. An extraordinarily gifted writer, Michaels creates wonderful characters and tells an engrossing story through the use of gorgeous, but spare, dialogue and subtle metaphor. The plot is a rather simple one (this is definitely a character driven story) but it is profound and also a profoundly moving meditation on the nature of grief and the redemptive power of love. The first line in the book, 'Time is a blind guide,' is haunting, but it is also ironic, for the story will prove that time is anything but blind. One of the protagonists, Jakob Beer, was orphaned as a seven-year old boy in Poland. Although the death of his parents affects Jakob most greviously, it is his sorrow at the death of his beloved older sister, Bella, that will remain with him for a lifetime. Jakob, himself, escapes the Nazis and flees into the forests of Poland where he is rescued by a Greek geologist, Athos Roussos, who eventually smuggles the boy to the Greek island of Zakynthos. On Zakynthos, Jakob can finally begin to put his life back together again. He is, however, haunted by memories of Bella, a gifted pianist. It is Bella who ultimately becomes Jakob's Beatrice as he begins his fascination with the poetry that will play a central role in the balance of his life. Athos, himself a widower, and Jakob, an orphan, seem to find in each other what they thought they had forever lost: a sense of family and abiding love and trust. As Athos finds joy in raising Jakob, Jakob finds joy in the values Athos seeks to instill in him: the love of language, scholarship and ethics. Although Athos seeks to heal Jakob, he does not attempt to obliterate his past. Ïnstead, Athos encourages Jakob to learn his Hebrew alphabet, telling him it is the future he is remembering rather than the past. As Jakob practices both the twisting and ornate letters of Hebrew and Greek, Athos tells him that both languages contain the 'ancient loneliness of ruins.' The narrative eventually moves from Greece to Toronto where Jakob becomes the product of his love for the late Bella and the teachings of Athos. The love given him so freely by both will serve as a continuum for the rest of Jakob's life as he realizes that the best teachers encourage, not the mind, but the heart. Jakob comes to know that Athos instilled in him the necessity of love and, that, to honor both Athos and Bella he must resolve a 'perpetual thirst.' The story closes with the character of Ben, a young professor who has become fascinated by both Jakob and his work. Their relationship is reminiscent of the relationship of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce's Ulysses. Ben's family was the very antithesis of the relationship shared by Athos and Jakob. In Ben's family there was no energy, no love, no sadness. Ben seeks strength and purpose in Jakob's life and in his words, words that have the ability to transmute the horror of war and the loss of family. Words that have the power to speak that which, heretofore, has remained unspoken. Fugitive Pieces is a beautiful novel, a meditation on love and loss and grief and solace. It is a quiet book but one that is immensely profound. Anne Michaels is a gifted poet and with Fugitive Pieces she proves that she is an extraordinary gifted writer of prose as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author, with poetic and magical images, takes one to a holy place, that exudes humanity and beauty in a relentless search for that which is lost.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not only is the language beautiful in this book, the story is unusual and very moving. How often do read about a man transcending race, religion and laws to take care of a child? Fugitive Pieces is a unique story of love, admiration, personal growth and heroism. The words alone in this book are so beautifully strung together that each page is its own amazing piece of art and as a whole it is a masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an exceptional book with a rich language that traces a young boy's life into manhood. Written in a poetic language, Michaels captures and exposes the spirit of her characters.