DARWIN'S WINK

Alison Anderson, Author . St. Martin's $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-33199-3

Two lonely hearts try to protect an endangered species of bird and the paradisiacal island on which they live from mysterious agents of destruction in Anderson's dreamy, lushly written second novel (after 1996's Hidden Latitudes ). Christian, a disenchanted, 30-something Swiss man haunted by his experiences as a Red Cross worker in Bosnia, comes to Egret Island, "a short green poem of a place" off the coast of Mauritius, to work for Fran, a middle-aged, outwardly brusque American naturalist seeking to restore the island to its original, untouched state and the endangered mourner-bird to its previous strength. Like Christian, who left behind a pregnant lover, Fran has also loved and lost; she tries to confine herself to a cerebral approach to work and life, blunting her sexual frissons and painful flashbacks through Darwinian logic. But as an unseen menace stalks the island, seeking to destroy both the birds and their caretakers, Fran and Christian are propelled toward romantic union—a well-worn conceit given some resonance by the novel's governing idiom of biology, instinct and the odd "stochastic factor, or... Darwin's wink": the nonsensical gap in biological progress that throws predictability off course. Readers will find the plot distantly secondary to the novel's rich emotional palette, as Anderson captures the expansive beauty of Mauritius and the nuances of human character with languid, sensual and occasionally violet prose. Agent, Irene Moore. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-0-312-33200-6
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.