A Fool's Alphabet

Sebastian Faulks, Author
Sebastian Faulks, Author Little Brown and Company $19.95 (274p) ISBN 978-0-316-27547-7
Reviewed on: 03/29/1993
Release date: 04/01/1993
Paperback - 274 pages - 978-0-09-922321-4
Hardcover - 978-0-09-177299-4
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4070-6549-6
Hardcover - 978-0-7540-0536-0
Hardcover - 978-0-7540-5391-0
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Pietro Russell, the protagonist of this moving, inventive and luminous novel, is an English traveling photographer whose assignments take him from Hong Kong to Ibiza, Jerusalem, Paris and Sarajevo. Arranging the 26 chapters alphabetically by place name, and jumping around chronologically as well as geographically, Faulks ( A Trick of the Light ) creates a prismatic effect, illuminating from many angles his restless hero's inner turmoil and search for self. Son of an Italian mother and a British soldier wounded during WW II, Pietro struggles to come to terms with his mother's death from cancer. We travel with him to Vermont, where he frantically pursues his American high school classmate Laura; to the balmy California coast, scene of their painful breakup; to Oxford where, as a lab assistant, he undergoes therapy with a female psychiatrist who helps him overcome agoraphobia, insomnia and depression. In the unconditional love of his Dutch-Belgian wife Hannah and their children, Pietro at last achieves an emotional anchorage. Faulks, a former literary editor of the English newspaper the Independent , has written a wonderfuly insightful book that reverberates with epiphanies large and small, a celebration of life in all its beauty and tragic brevity. (Apr.)
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