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The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

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Stephen Greenblatt, winner of the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, tackles the origins of humanity through the most enduring story of all time.

About the Author

Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. He is the author of twelve books, including The Swerve- How the World Became Modern, which won the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, as well as the New York Times bestseller Will in the World- How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare and the classic university text Renaissance Self-Fashioning. He is General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and of The Norton Shakespeare, and has edited seven collections of literary criticism.


"A compelling, all-encompassing story of myth, theology and belief ... He delves deftly and lucidly into theology... Fascinating" -- Sam Leith * Spectator * "Thrilling ... a study of western disenchantment, of intellectual progress, of the fading powers of the myths of a simpler age. But it is a more complex study than that. It is also an ode to human creativity and to the powerful grip of narrative" -- Tim Whitmarsh * Guardian * "Fascinating" -- Christina Borg * Sunday Times * "Enthralling, thrilling... Along the way, there is an often hilarious account of scholastic efforts to rationalise the myth's illogic, and an array of entertaining heresies... What gives Greenblatt's "intellectual adventure" its tension and excitement is a sense of his own divided loyalties" -- Peter Conrad * Observer * "Erudite, wide-ranging, thought-provoking and elegantly fashioned" -- Darragh McManus * Irish Independent * "Greenblatt, on excellent form here, visits familiar destinations ... with fresh eyes, and opens up new interpretative vistas ... Hefty themes are covered in this spellbinding book, but the learning is worn lightly." -- Jonathan Wright * BBC History magazine * "This is a learned book, but Greenblatt's passion for story-telling makes it read like a series of fascinating anecdotes... The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve is exhilarating to read and a feast for the mind" -- John Carey * Sunday Times * "Greenblatt is utterly engaging." -- Miri Rubin * Prospect * "Greenblatt's inexhaustible curiosity goes without saying; what makes this book a wonder is its passion ... nothing less than a love story, a hymn. Who would have thought scholarship could be so ardent or so poignant?" -- Howard Jacobson, winner of the MAN Booker Prize "Pellucid, absorbing and for many contemporary readers surely definitive account" -- John Gray * New Statesman * "Tunnelling upwards from the murky beginnings of our origin myth through its myriad interpretations by Augustine, Michelangelo, Durer, Milton, Darwin and more, this riveting book raises essential questions about the nature of narrative." -- Claire Lowdon * Sunday Times * "Thought-provoking" -- Roger Lewis * The Times * "Greenblatt sets out to tell the story of the story - and it's just as fascinating. Greenblatt canters through millennia of human history with ease" -- James Marriott * The Times * "With all his usual clarity and freshness, one of our foremost literary historians and critics sets out a comprehensive picture of how a story foundational for European civilization developed, from its origins in western Asia to its much-contested place in the post-Darwinian world... This is a rich, learned, lively book, which should engage all who are interested in the history of our imagination and the interweavings of faith, poetics, and philosophy." -- Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury "Vibrant and accessible... It is a fascinating subject, and Greenblatt brings to it all the skill of his distinguished career as a scholar and cultural interpreter. His narrative moves briskly from one (arguably) historically pivotal moment to the next. His reading of Milton, whom he greatly admires, is especially illuminating. The whole book is lit up with flashes of insight... This is a very engaging book which explores a rich seam in European history and culture... Well worth reading" -- Teresa Morgan * Tablet * "Human beings have always told stories about who we are and where we came from ... In this enchanting book, Stephen Greenblatt puts this ancient story into historical, literary, and artistic context, helping to illuminate how we humans have chosen to think about ourselves." -- Sean Carroll, New York Times bestselling author of THE BIG PICTURE "While some of the conclusions are provocative, that's always half the fun with Greenblatt." -- Jonathan Wright * The Catholic Herald *

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