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The Hidden Letters of Velta B.: A Novel
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2016
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Description

"A beautifully spun tale" set in a tiny town in Latvia—"an astonishing alchemy of history, romance, and fable" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

Maris was born knowing things: His very large, very special ears enable him to hear the secrets of the dead, as well as the memories that haunt his Latvian hometown. As a boy, he finds himself heir to an odd assortment of hidden letters, from which he would weave a story that could finally expose—and maybe even patch—the holes in the fabric of his family and their town.

With humor, heart, and her characteristic "luminous writing [and] affection for her characters," Gina Ochsner creates an intimate, hopeful portrait of a fascinating town in all its complications and charm. From the onset of World War II through the cold shock of independence, we see how, despite years of distrust, a community can come through love and loss to the joy of understanding (The New York Times). A finalist for the Oregon Book Awards Ken Kesey Award for Fiction, The Hidden Letters of Velta B. is "a captivating novel of secrets, love, and memory . . . This terrific novel knocked me out" (Janet Fitch, author of Paint It Black).

"Intimate, vibrant, and richly colored." —Portland Monthly

"A gift on par with Joanne Harris's Chocolat . . . Quirky, ethereal, hilarious, and sorrowful." —Shelf Awareness

"[An] extraordinary feat of storytelling . . . A spellbinding novel as tough as it is beautiful." —Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before the War

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/26/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780544253124
ASIN:
B011H55I1C
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Gina Ochsner. (2016). The Hidden Letters of Velta B: A Novel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Gina Ochsner. 2016. The Hidden Letters of Velta B: A Novel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Gina Ochsner, The Hidden Letters of Velta B: A Novel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Gina Ochsner. The Hidden Letters of Velta B: A Novel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. 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 18:00:59
Date Updated:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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        Gina Ochsner is the author of two collections of short stories, People I Wanted to Be and The Necessary Grace to Fall, both of which won the Oregon Book Award, and a novel, The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She is a recipient of the Flannery O'Connor Award, the William Faulkner Prize, an NEA grant, a Guggenheim, and the Raymond Carver Prize. She lives in Oregon.

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"A beautifully spun tale" set in a tiny town in Latvia—"an astonishing alchemy of history, romance, and fable" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

Maris was born knowing things: His very large, very special ears enable him to hear the secrets of the dead, as well as the memories that haunt his Latvian hometown. As a boy, he finds himself heir to an odd assortment of hidden letters, from which he would weave a story that could finally expose—and maybe even patch—the holes in the fabric of his family and their town.

With humor, heart, and her characteristic "luminous writing [and] affection for her characters," Gina Ochsner creates an intimate, hopeful portrait of a fascinating town in all its complications and charm. From the onset of World War II through the cold shock of independence, we see how, despite years of distrust, a community can come through love and loss to the joy of understanding (The New York Times)....

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fullDescription

"A beautifully spun tale" set in a tiny town in Latvia—"an astonishing alchemy of history, romance, and fable" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

Maris was born knowing things: His very large, very special ears enable him to hear the secrets of the dead, as well as the memories that haunt his Latvian hometown. As a boy, he finds himself heir to an odd assortment of hidden letters, from which he would weave a story that could finally expose—and maybe even patch—the holes in the fabric of his family and their town.

With humor, heart, and her characteristic "luminous writing [and] affection for her characters," Gina Ochsner creates an intimate, hopeful portrait of a fascinating town in all its complications and charm. From the onset of World War II through the cold shock of independence, we see how, despite years of distrust, a community can come through love and loss to the joy of understanding (The New York Times). A finalist for the Oregon Book Awards Ken Kesey Award for Fiction, The Hidden Letters of Velta B. is "a captivating novel of secrets, love, and memory . . . This terrific novel knocked me out" (Janet Fitch, author of Paint It Black).

"Intimate, vibrant, and richly colored." —Portland Monthly

"A gift on par with Joanne Harris's Chocolat . . . Quirky, ethereal, hilarious, and sorrowful." —Shelf Awareness

"[An] extraordinary feat of storytelling . . . A spellbinding novel as tough as it is beautiful." —Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before the War

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        May 2, 2016
        In Ochsner’s (The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight) strange, vivid second novel, a woman in a tiny Latvian village traces the magic-infused story of her life. Inara has known that her son, Maris, was special since the day he was born with “ears as large as soup bowls” and a superhuman ability to hear the very vibrations in the earth. Now, as she begins to lose her battle with cancer, Inara summons Maris to her deathbed to tell him her life story in an attempt to help him make sense of his origins. Through bizarre, often hilarious vignettes featuring a cast of colorful characters and slapstick moments, Inara’s tale comes to light: her early childhood under the final days of Soviet rule in Latvia, losing the family’s ancestral home, falling in love twice, and giving birth to Maris. Woven throughout are bits and pieces of the poetic, cryptic letters that her grandmother Velta wrote to her husband and secreted away inside the family’s home, folded neatly in a box as well as scribbled in the margins of newspaper hidden beneath the wallpaper. The letters provide a glimpse into Velta’s life during and after WWII, a blend of beauty and unspeakable tragedy. Ochsner has created an entire town filled with characters who display eccentric habits and engage in sharp-tongued banter, bringing a touch of believability to even the book’s most out-there anecdotes. Humor, mythology, and an immersive setting, as well as a few poignant and visceral moments as family secrets are revealed, render this a memorable tale. Agent: Julie Barer, Book Group.

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publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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