Amsterdam, 1631: Sara de Vos becomes the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the city’s Guild of St. Luke. Though women do not paint landscapes (they are generally restricted to indoor subjects), a wintry outdoor scene haunts Sara: She cannot shake the image of a young girl from a nearby village, standing alone beside a silver birch at dusk, staring out at a group of skaters on the frozen river below. Defying the expectations of her time, she decides to paint it.New York City, 1957: The only known surviving work of Sara de Vos, At the Edge of a Wood, hangs in the bedroom of a wealthy Manhattan lawyer, Marty de Groot, a descendant of the original owner. It is a beautiful but comfortless landscape. The lawyer’s marriage is prominent but comfortless, too. When a struggling art history grad student, Ellie Shipley, agrees to forge the painting for a dubious art dealer, she finds herself entangled with its owner in ways no one could predict.Sydney, 2000: Now a celebrated art historian and curator, Ellie Shipley is mounting an exhibition in her field of specialization: female painters of the Dutch Golden Age. When it becomes apparent that both the original At the Edge of a Wood and her forgery are en route to her museum, the life she has carefully constructed threatens to unravel entirely and irrevocably.
Selected for Kirkus Reviews "Best Books of 2011"From the award-winning author of The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre and The Beautiful Miscellaneous comes a sweeping historical novel set amid the skyscrapers of 1890s Chicago and the far-flung islands of the South Pacific.In the waning years of the nineteenth century there was a hunger for tribal artifacts, spawning collecting voyages from museums and collectors around the globe. In 1897, one such collector, a Chicago insurance magnate, sponsors an expedition into the South Seas to commemorate the completion of his company's new skyscraper--the world's tallest building. The ship is to bring back an array of Melanesian weaponry and handicrafts, but also several natives related by blood. Caught up in this scheme are two orphans--Owen Graves, an itinerant trader from Chicago's South Side who has recently proposed to the girl he must leave behind, and Argus Niu, a mission houseboy in the New Hebrides who longs to be reunited with his sister. At the cusp of the twentieth century, the expedition forces a collision course between the tribal and the civilized, between two young men plagued by their respective and haunting pasts.An epic and ambitious story that brings to mind E. L. Doctorow, with echoes of Melville and Robert Louis Stevenson, Bright and Distant Shores is a wondrous achievement by a writer known for creating compelling fiction from the fabric of history.
The debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos reimagines the life of Louis Daguerre, the inventor of photography, who becomes convinced that the world is going to end when his mind unravels due to mercury poisoning. He is determined to reconnect with the only woman he has ever loved before the End comes.Louis Daguerre's story is set against the backdrop of a Paris prone to bohemian excess and social unrest. Poets and dandies debate art and style in the cafes while students and rebels fill the garrets with revolutionary talk and gun smoke. It is here, amid this strange and beguiling setting, that Louis Daguerre sets off to capture his doomsday subjects. Louis enlists the help of the womanizing poet Charles Baudelaire, known to the salon set as the "Prince of Clouds" and a jaded but beautiful prostitute named Pigeon. Together they scour the Paris underworld for images worthy of Daguerre's list. But Louis is also confronted by a chance to reunite with the only woman he's ever loved. Half a lifetime ago, Isobel Le Fournier kissed Louis Daguerre in a wine cave outside of Orleans. The result was a proposal, a rejection, and a misunderstanding that outlasted three kings and an emperor. Now, in the countdown to his apocalypse, Louis wants to understand why he has carried the memory of that kiss for so long.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, a dazzling new novel explores the fault lines that can cause a family to drift apart and the unexpected events that can pull them back together.Nathan Nelson is the average son of a genius. His father, a physicist of small renown, has prodded him toward greatness from an early age—enrolling him in whiz kid summer camps, taking him to the icy tundra of Canada to track a solar eclipse, and teaching him college algebra. But despite Samuel Nelson's efforts, Nathan remains ordinary. Then, in the summer of 1987, everything changes. While visiting his small-town grandfather in Michigan, Nathan is involved in a terrible accident. After a brief clinical death -- which he later recalls as a lackluster affair lasting less than the length of a Top 40 pop song—he falls into a coma. When he awakens, Nathan finds that everyday life is radically different. His perceptions of sight, sound, and memory have been irrevocably changed. The doctors and his parents fear permanent brain damage. But the truth of his condition is more unexpected and leads to a renewed chance for Nathan to find his place in the world. Thinking that his son's altered brain is worthy of serious inquiry, Samuel arranges for Nathan to attend the Brook-Mills Institute, a Midwestern research center where savants, prodigies, and neurological misfits are studied and their specialties applied. Immersed in this strange atmosphere -- where an autistic boy can tell you what day Christmas falls on in 3026 but can't tie his shoelaces, where a medical intuitive can diagnose cancer during a long-distance phone call with a patient—Nathan begins to unravel the mysteries of his new mind, and finally make peace with the crushing weight of his father's expectations.
The Bird and the Elephant: Philosophy for Young Minds
The Bird and The Elephant starts with an introduction and is then broken up into 10 poetic discussions. It also features 11 beautifully drawn illustrations.A bird is flying high one day when he decides he needs to take a rest. He glances down below and aims for a large rock. But it isn't a rock! He shockingly discovers he's landed on an elephant's back. They begin having a conversation. The bird is impatient and hot headed while the elephant is calming and wise. Through their discussions the bird learns a lot about life and ultimately, himself.The discussions are: Who are we? Where do we come from? Why are we here? Friendship Why do bad things happen? Happiness Morality Destiny Love Philosophy
Exceptional Technologies: a Continental Philosophy of Technology
A discussion of the rapidly growing field, from a thinker at the forefront of research at the interface of technology and the humanities, this is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary developments in Continental philosophy and philosophy of technology.Philosophy of technology regularly draws on key thinkers in the Continental tradition, including Husserl, Heidegger, and Foucault. Yet because of the problematic legacy of the 'empirical turn', it often criticizes 'bad' continental tendencies - lyricism, pessimism, and an outdated view of technology as an autonomous, transcendental force. This misconception is based on a faulty image of Continental thought, and in addressing it Smith productively redefines our concept of technology. By closely engaging key texts, and by examining 'exceptional technologies' such as imagined, failed, and impossible technologies that fall outside philosophy of technology's current focus, this book offers a practical guide to thinking about and using continental philosophy and philosophy of technology. It outlines and enacts three key characteristics of philosophy as practiced in the continental tradition: close reading of the history of philosophy; focus on critique; and openness to other disciplinary fields. Smith deploys the concept of exceptional technologies to provide a novel way of widening discussion in philosophy of technology, navigating the relationship between philosophy of technology and Continental philosophy; the history of both these fields; the role of imagination in relation to technologies; and the social function of technologies themselves.
National Book Award Finalist—FictionIn the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.
Summary of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith | Includes Analysis
Summary of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith | Includes Analysis Preview:The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith is a novel that describes the way two lives become intertwined through a mutual obsession with a seventeenth-century Dutch artist.In the year 1957, wealthy New Yorker Marty de Groot realizes that his beloved painting, the only known surviving oil-on-canvas by seventeenth-century Dutch artist Sara de Vos, has gone missing. In its place over his bed is a fake. Hoping to get his revenge, Marty goes after the suspected forger, whom he later learns is a pretty, 20-something graduate student named Ellie Shipley. Little does Marty know that their meeting will end up having a profound effect on both of their lives.During a charity event at his and his wife Rachel’s penthouse on the Upper East Side, thieves steal into Marty’s bedroom and take his de Vos, a 1636 painting titled At the Edge of a Wood… PLEASE NOTE: This is summary and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Instaread Summary of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: Summary of the BookImportant PeopleCharacter AnalysisAnalysis of the Themes and Author’s Style About the AuthorWith Instaread, you can get the key takeaways, summary and analysis of a book in 15 minutes. We read every chapter, identify the key takeaways and analyze them for your convenience.
Summary of The Last Painting of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith | Conversation Starters
Summary of The Last Painting of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith | Conversation Starters The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is the latest book by award-winning Australian author Dominic Smith. Linking three lives, on three continents, over a period of three centuries, a rare Dutch painting from the 17th century is the centerpiece of this book is about art, love, regrets, and life lessons. The painting, called “At the Edge of a Wood,” connects the three main characters, who are all facing choices and circumstances that put them on the edge of regret. This historical novel not only entertains but teaches the reader about art history and construction. The Last Painting of Sara de Vos is a New York Times bestseller and Review Editors’ Choice, and has been named an Amazon Editors’ Top Pick. A Brief Look Inside: EVERY GOOD BOOK CONTAINS A WORLD FAR DEEPER than the surface of its pages. The characters and their world come alive, and the characters and its world still live on. Conversation Starters is peppered with questions designed to bring us beneath the surface of the page and invite us into the world that lives on. These questions can be used to... Create Hours of Conversation: • Promote an atmosphere of discussion for groups • Foster a deeper understanding of the book • Assist in the study of the book, either individually or corporately • Explore unseen realms of the book as never seen before Disclaimer: This book you are about to enjoy is an independent resource meant to supplement the original book. If you have not yet read the original book, we encourage to do before purchasing this unofficial Conversation Starters.
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