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Shadow Man: A Novel
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Steerforth Press 2012
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Foreign correspondent James Ryan was there whenever the world changed: in the Middle East, in the Balkans, in the former Soviet bloc. But now he can't remember these events; he can't recall anything long-term, except the summer of his fifteenth year following his mother's death. It was the summer his father told him to call him Kurt. The summer the mysterious and enchanting Vera burst into their lonely, quiet lives. The summer his own world opened, then irrevocably changed.

James, at fifty-two, suffers from a severe case of early onset Alzheimer's. The novel unravels James's predicament through the clear glimpses he retains of that long ago summer, and through the desperate attempts of his wife and his nurse to bring him back to the present, if only for stolen moments. Each has her motives: his wife trying not to lose the man with whom she shared so much - wars, death, love, loss of a child, history. And his nurse, the half sister he never knew he had, needing James's adolescent memory to understand the biological father and mother she never met.

Told from the perspective of a man betrayed by his own mind, Shadow Man is a novel of identity and suspense that travels across continents and deep into the pasts that make us each who we are. It explores the power of memory to heal and to mask, and of the limits of unconditional love. Set in Philly and the eastern shore of yesteryear, in the Middle East, and throughout Eastern Europe, Fleishman's trademark descriptive but spare lyricism shines. Shadow Man is a touching and haunting novel perhaps most similar to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, though it is a work of fiction.



From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/21/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781586421991

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APA Citation (style guide)

Jeffrey Fleishman. (2012). Shadow Man: A Novel. Steerforth Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jeffrey Fleishman. 2012. Shadow Man: A Novel. Steerforth Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jeffrey Fleishman, Shadow Man: A Novel. Steerforth Press, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jeffrey Fleishman. Shadow Man: A Novel. Steerforth Press, 2012.

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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        Jeffrey Fleishman, a Harvard Nieman fellow and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, is a foreign correspondent for The Los Angeles Times, currently serving as the paper's Cairo bureau chief. He has covered wars in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. His first novel, Promised Virgins: A Novel of Jihad, was published in 2009.

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Shadow Man
fullDescription

Foreign correspondent James Ryan was there whenever the world changed: in the Middle East, in the Balkans, in the former Soviet bloc. But now he can't remember these events; he can't recall anything long-term, except the summer of his fifteenth year following his mother's death. It was the summer his father told him to call him Kurt. The summer the mysterious and enchanting Vera burst into their lonely, quiet lives. The summer his own world opened, then irrevocably changed.

James, at fifty-two, suffers from a severe case of early onset Alzheimer's. The novel unravels James's predicament through the clear glimpses he retains of that long ago summer, and through the desperate attempts of his wife and his nurse to bring him back to the present, if only for stolen moments. Each has her motives: his wife trying not to lose the man with whom she shared so much - wars, death, love, loss of a child, history. And his nurse, the half sister he never knew he had, needing James's adolescent memory to understand the biological father and mother she never met.

Told from the perspective of a man betrayed by his own mind, Shadow Man is a novel of identity and suspense that travels across continents and deep into the pasts that make us each who we are. It explores the power of memory to heal and to mask, and of the limits of unconditional love. Set in Philly and the eastern shore of yesteryear, in the Middle East, and throughout Eastern Europe, Fleishman's trademark descriptive but spare lyricism shines. Shadow Man is a touching and haunting novel perhaps most similar to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, though it is a work of fiction.



From the Trade Paperback edition.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Times
      • content: "Fleishman's writing is lyrical and quite lovely. . .[He] uses multiple perspectives and a broken sense of time to build an image of the mind losing its grip on the present."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Vibrant prose and masterful shifts in narrative temporalities make this psychological-noir a must-read."
      • premium: False
      • source: Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea and Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood.
      • content: "Shadow Man is an exhilarating journey through the mind. The novel darts in and out of the life of a foreign correspondent. In his prime, he bore witness to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the siege of Sarajevo, the first Gulf War; but now, stricken with Alzheimer's, all he remembers of his life is a trip to Virginia Beach forty years earlier. A girl he kissed as a teenager is more vivid in the addled mind than his own wife. Jeffrey Fleishman's Shadow Man is a more eloquent exploration of memory than any other book I've read, including Julian Barnes' Man Booker Prize-winning The Sense of an Ending. Dare I say, this is a book I'll remember for a long time."
      • premium: False
      • source: Steve Lopez, author of The SoloistShadow Man is the unforgettable story of an extraordinary man with almost no memory. Jeffrey Fleishman, a prize winning journalist in his day job, tells the haunting tale of a famous foreign...
      • content: "Effortless elegance powers Jeffrey Fleishman's prose, lending it a dreamy grace. He brings you along into this other world, in which mystery and the mind are the same, and at times you feel as though your guide is Marguerite Duras or perhaps Michael Ondaatje."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "This trenchant and even poetic first novel conveys a knowing sense of the place, the war, and the lives of war correspondents. But the book is a good deal more than that. It's a story of fated love, failed politics, and the export of Islamic extremism, and it's more than a little like the novels of Graham Greene."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "Fleishman . . . writes in a telegraphic, staccato style, reminiscent of Hemingway and well suited to the stark realities he depicts. . . . A harsh impressive work."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 11, 2012
        After Promised Virgins: A Novel of Jihad, Fleishman tackles the disquieting tale of 52-year-old James Ryan, a former foreign correspondent beset by Alzheimer’s—unable to create new memories and doomed to remember the year his mother died when he was 15. James’s welfare depends on his half-sister qua nurse, known only as “the woman in white,” and his Polish wife, Eva, whom he met in a bar in Poland after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and who once served as his translator. While an increasingly exasperated Eva tries to revive James’s memory by relating his years as a journalist, his devoted half-sister narrates the summer James cannot forget. Shortly after James’s mother died, his father, Kurt, met an “enchanting” woman named Vera, who played host to a destructive paranoia. She carried a pistol as protection against a possibly imagined stalker, whom she referred to eerily as “the man from Marrakesh.” James, Kurt, and Vera embarked on a trip to Virginia Beach where James flirted with marijuana and the hotel clerk, but things took a dramatic turn for the worse when “the man from Marrakesh” tragically manifested. Vibrant prose and masterful shifts in narrative temporalities make this psychological-noir a must-read. Agent: Sorche Fairbank.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2012
        Fleishman's second novel is a melodrama: Losing all but a memory of a single summer of his adolescence to early-onset Alzheimer's, the protagonist loses his identity. The Shadow Man of the title is James Ryan, once a respected foreign correspondent, afflicted with acute early-onset Alzheimer's. He's housed in a care facility walking distance from his childhood home in Philadelphia. One nurse takes a peculiar interest in him, and there are a few pages of prickling suspense before she reveals an improbable secret. Nearly dead to the world, James dwells in a period not long after his mother was killed, a victim of a hit-and-run accident. The memory: James and his father, Kurt, live almost as roommates. Kurt paints ships and loves tennis. The callow James is an uneasy Catholic, devoted to the dictionary. The erratic Vera insinuates herself into their lives. Vera is the catalyst, and the majority of the book details a brief but fateful escape the three make to Virginia Beach. This episode, including his kisses with the flirtatious Alice, seems to contain the totality of James' life, its vividness in stark contrast to the ashen present, where, in a bid to rekindle his memory, James' wife, Eva, takes him to the Jersey Shore. Eva, who met James overseas, tells and retells him the story of his life, of their vagabond life together, including vignettes of James' daring reporting. The novel's emotional force is the tension between the past and present. While there are moments of pleasure and passages of real skill, sentimentality eclipses the novel.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Foreign correspondent James Ryan was there whenever the world changed: in the Middle East, in the Balkans, in the former Soviet bloc. But now he can't remember these events; he can't recall anything long-term, except the summer of his fifteenth year following his mother's death. It was the summer his father told him to call him Kurt. The summer the mysterious and enchanting Vera burst into their lonely, quiet lives. The summer his own world opened, then irrevocably changed.

James, at fifty-two, suffers from a severe case of early onset Alzheimer's. The novel unravels James's predicament through the clear glimpses he retains of that long ago summer, and through the desperate attempts of his wife and his nurse to bring him back to the present, if only for stolen moments. Each has her motives: his wife trying not to lose the man with whom she shared so much - wars, death, love, loss of a child, history. And his nurse, the half sister he never knew he had, needing James's...

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