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Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance


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About the Author

RICHARD POWERS is the author of ten novels. The Echo Maker won the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Powers has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Historical Fiction. He lives in Illinois. WEB: RICHARDPOWERS.NET FACEBOOK: RICHARD POWERS


Three farmers walking along a German road are captured by photographer August Sander on the eve of World War I . Years later this photograph, exhibited in a Detroit museum, so haunts the narrator that he embarks on an exhaustive search for any information that will help interpret it and account for its extraordinary impact on him. This same picture is uncovered by a young computer magazine editor in his own search for the identity of a woman he has glimpsed in an Armistice Day parade. As the stories intersect, the photograph unveils the interconnectedness of individuals that is history and demonstrates that the individual's search for self through the past is likely to pose more questions than it answers. Because of its complex plot, this first novel will appeal mainly to sophisticated readers. But Powers delicately meshes contemporary problems and preoccupations, and his style is wonderful. Highly recommended for modern fiction collections. Cynthia Johnson Whealler, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.

"Bristlingly intelligent . . . Powers is a superb writer.""--Chicago Tribune""A scintillating, high-octane intellectual flight of fancy."--"Newsday"Fiercely original, formally brilliant, deeply moving."--"Illinois Times"An obsessive, witty, moving, often electrifying whale of a book about nothing less than the twentieth century."--"Kirkus Reviews"His writing engages . . . Sentence by sentence and page by page, the work shows Mr. Powers to good advantage."--"New York Times Book Review"Dazzling and audacious . . . nothing short of astounding."--"Philadelphia Inquirer?What is most remarkable about?the body of Powers's work so far is how much life is in it, and how much intelligence . . . I can think of no American novelist of his generation who makes a stronger [case] that the writing of novels is a heroic enterprise, and perhaps, even a matter of life and death.?--A. O. Scott, "New York Review of Books?One of the few younger American writers who can stake a claim to the legacy of Pynchon, Gaddis, and DeLillo.?--Gerald Howard, "The Nation?A writer of blistering intellect . . . [Powers is] a novelist of ideas and a novelist of witness, and in both respects, he has few American peers.?--Richard Eder, "Los Angeles Times?Powers is a genuine artist, athinker of rare synthetic gifts, maybe the only writer working -- Pynchon and DeLillo excepted -- who can render the intricate dazzle of it all and at the same time plumb its philosophical implications...?--Sven Birkerts, "Esquire?America's most ambitious novelist . . . No one who becomes immersed in [his] poetry will walk out the way he or she came in.?--Kevin Berger, "San Francisco Chronicle?Richard Powers is America's greatest livingnovelist.?--Tom Bissell, "The Boston Review?Powers hovers impossibly between extremes with a tightrope walker's perfect balance. He may be at once the smartest and the most warm-hearted novelist in America today.?--Melvin Jules Bukiet, "The Chicago Tribune

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