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The Sunken Cathedral: A Novel
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Scribner 2015
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Available from OverDrive
Description
From the highly acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award nominee, a "funny...beautiful...audacious...masterful" (J. Courtney Sullivan, The Boston Globe) novel about the way memory haunts and shapes the present.
Marie and Simone, friends for decades, were once immigrants to the city, survivors of World War II in Europe. Now widows living alone in Chelsea, they remain robust, engaged, and adventurous, even as the vistas from their past interrupt their present. Helen is an art historian who takes a painting class with Marie and Simone. Sid Morris, their instructor, presides over a dusty studio in a tenement slated for condo conversion; he awakes the interest of both Simone and Marie. Elizabeth is Marie's upstairs tenant, a woman convinced that others have a secret way of being, a confidence and certainty she lacks. She is increasingly unmoored—baffled by her teenage son, her husband, and the roles she is meant to play.

In a chorus of voices, Kate Walbert, a "wickedly smart, gorgeous writer" (The New York Times Book Review), explores the growing disconnect between the world of action her characters inhabit and the longings, desires, and doubts they experience. Interweaving long narrative footnotes, Walbert paints portraits of marriage, of friendship, and of love in its many facets, always limning the inner life, the place of deepest yearning and anxiety. The Sunken Cathedral is a stunningly beautiful, profoundly wise novel about the way we live now—"fascinating, moving, and significant" (Ron Charles, The Washington Post).
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/09/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781476799377
ASIN:
B00P42WS9A
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Kate Walbert. (2015). The Sunken Cathedral: A Novel. Scribner.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Kate Walbert. 2015. The Sunken Cathedral: A Novel. Scribner.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Kate Walbert, The Sunken Cathedral: A Novel. Scribner, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Kate Walbert. The Sunken Cathedral: A Novel. Scribner, 2015.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:27:33
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:43:01
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Apr 14, 2024 07:51:14
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      • bioText: Kate Walbert is the author of seven works of fiction: She Was Like That, longlisted for the Story Prize and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; His Favorites, an Atlantic Monthly Best Book of the Year; The Sunken Cathedral; A Short History of Women, a New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of the Year and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Our Kind, a National Book Award finalist; The Gardens of Kyoto; and the story collection Where She Went. Her work has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize stories. She lives with her family in New York City.

      • name: Kate Walbert
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title
The Sunken Cathedral
fullDescription
From the highly acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award nominee, a "funny...beautiful...audacious...masterful" (J. Courtney Sullivan, The Boston Globe) novel about the way memory haunts and shapes the present.
Marie and Simone, friends for decades, were once immigrants to the city, survivors of World War II in Europe. Now widows living alone in Chelsea, they remain robust, engaged, and adventurous, even as the vistas from their past interrupt their present. Helen is an art historian who takes a painting class with Marie and Simone. Sid Morris, their instructor, presides over a dusty studio in a tenement slated for condo conversion; he awakes the interest of both Simone and Marie. Elizabeth is Marie's upstairs tenant, a woman convinced that others have a secret way of being, a confidence and certainty she lacks. She is increasingly unmoored—baffled by her teenage son, her husband, and the roles she is meant to play.

In a chorus of voices, Kate Walbert, a "wickedly smart, gorgeous writer" (The New York Times Book Review), explores the growing disconnect between the world of action her characters inhabit and the longings, desires, and doubts they experience. Interweaving long narrative footnotes, Walbert paints portraits of marriage, of friendship, and of love in its many facets, always limning the inner life, the place of deepest yearning and anxiety. The Sunken Cathedral is a stunningly beautiful, profoundly wise novel about the way we live now—"fascinating, moving, and significant" (Ron Charles, The Washington Post).
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from March 16, 2015
        Footnotes enrich the text of this short, deceptively simple novel; altogether the book combines memories, regrets, doubts, hopes, fears, and mental detours including an escape from war-torn France and the past of a sugar maple tree. The result is a multidimensional portrait of two 80-something widows in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood venturing outside their comfort zone to take an art class. Simone and Marie, both French survivors of WWII, have been friends since meeting as young mothers on a Brooklyn playground. Neighbors, family, art students, and school administrators provide a supporting cast whose hopes and disappointments, routines and crises, pleasures, and fears converge to form an ode to New York City, a riff on aging, and a discourse on living with a vague fear of impending catastrophe. A keen observer of architecture, landscape, and culture, Walbert (A Short History of Women) takes inspiration from Debussy’s water music, referenced in the title and with impressionistic dabs of prose and subtle shifts of tone. Whether she is being technically exact or ingeniously playful, above or below the (High) line, Walbert’s wistful glimpse of women reaching out during their last days of independence offers a penetrating look at New York and the world, post-9/11, post-Sandy, pre–the next disaster.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 15, 2015

        Simone and Marie, two elderly widows in New York City, sign up for an art class to complete an unfinished painting by Simone's husband, while Elizabeth, a tenant in Marie's brownstone, becomes emotionally paralyzed by an assignment at her son's school meant to share insights into the students' families. Reading this hypnotic novel by Walbert, a National Book Award nominee for Our Kind, feels like falling down a rabbit hole of linked stories, with connections that resemble a trail of literary hyperlinks. In a postmodern quirk, effectively employed here, the novel contains numerous footnotes, which gradually take up more and more of the page. By design, the subtext overwhelms at times, the footnotes revealing the often painful undercurrents that lie just beneath the surface of the story. There are apocalyptic overtones, with themes of drowning, climate change, and an impending sense of doom. Though the novel seems to be set in the present, it feels more menacing than our current world, with sudden, dangerous storms and terrorism drills in school. VERDICT An unconventional and unsettling novel with vivid imagery and passages of pure poetry. [See Prepub Alert, 12/8/14.]--Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
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From the highly acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award nominee, a "funny...beautiful...audacious...masterful" (J. Courtney Sullivan, The Boston Globe) novel about the way memory haunts and shapes the present.
Marie and Simone, friends for decades, were once immigrants to the city, survivors of World War II in Europe. Now widows living alone in Chelsea, they remain robust, engaged, and adventurous, even as the vistas from their past interrupt their present. Helen is an art historian who takes a painting class with Marie and Simone. Sid Morris, their instructor, presides over a dusty studio in a tenement slated for condo conversion; he awakes the interest of both Simone and Marie. Elizabeth is Marie's upstairs tenant, a woman convinced that others have a secret way of being, a confidence and certainty she lacks. She is increasingly unmoored—baffled by her teenage son, her husband, and the roles she is meant to play.

In a chorus of voices,...
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