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Prodigies: a novel
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Published:
Small Beer Press 2015
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Locus Recommended Reading
Prodigies explores the story of the poet Novalis's birthplace in the German town of Weissenfels after it is converted into a boarding house. Moving, subtle, and full of wit, irony, and dreams, this novel fills the house with the women who lived there throughout the nineteenth century, and across the flow of history constructs the secret drama of their destinies.
Praise for Prodigies:
"I am so in love with this book I could explode! I want to hug it and pet it and call it George. I knew it would be good, because Small Beer Press publishes the best, but I had no idea how just enchanted I would be with this delightful novel of unusual tenants at a boarding house in the nineteenth century. This book scratched my Muriel Spark/Barbara Comyns itches, with an extra side of the unusual. Originally published in 1994, this is Argentinian writer Gorodischer's third novel to be translated into English. I will definitely be reading the first two now!"
— Liberty Hardy, Book Riot
“Put strangers around a common table and you have possibilities, in life and in literature. Thus the driving premise of The Magic Mountain, and thus Argentine novelist Gorodischer's slender book. . . . Gorodischer writes a poetic, vigorous prose. Her story, dreamlike and start-and-stop, takes effort, for though brief, it is dense—and well worth the trouble."
Kirkus Reviews
"Because of Prodigies' unusual style, it requires great care and thoughtfulness to read. It cannot be rushed through or casually scanned. An impatient reader will abandon this book long before its rich rewards can be reaped. The right audience will have a willingness to savor, to double-back over sentences, to bob along to wherever the author and characters wish to take you. If you are ready for the experience of Prodigies, it is definitely ready for you."
— Carmen Maria Machado, NPR
"Gorodischer's rhythmic and transparent prose reveals the violence underlying bourgeois respectability. Prodigies is both incisive and incantatory."—Sofia Samatar, author of A Stranger in Olondria
"Prodigies, which she considers to be her best novel . . . takes place in Germany in the home of the poet Novalis after his death, and is a humorous and ironic portrayal of the women who passed through that home."—Women and Power in Argentinean Literature
Angélica Gorodischer was born in Buenos Aires in 1928 and has lived in Rosario since 1936. She has published many novels and short story collections including Kalpa Imperial, Mango Juice, and Trafalgar, as well as a memoir, History of My Mother. Her work has been translated into many languages and her translators include Ursula K. Le Guin and Alberto Manguel. With certain self-satisfaction she claims she has never written plays or poems, not even at sixteen when everybody writes poems, especially on unrequited love. She received two Fulbright awards as well as many literary awards around the world, including a 2014 Konex Special Mention Award.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/20/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781618731005
ASIN:
B011OQAM5Q
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APA Citation (style guide)

Angélica Gorodischer. (2015). Prodigies: a novel. Small Beer Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Angélica Gorodischer. 2015. Prodigies: A Novel. Small Beer Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Angélica Gorodischer, Prodigies: A Novel. Small Beer Press, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Angélica Gorodischer. Prodigies: A Novel. Small Beer Press, 2015. 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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shortDescription

Prodigies explores the story of the poet Novalis's birthplace in the German town of Weissenfels after it is converted into a boarding house. Moving, subtle, and full of wit, irony, and dreams, this novel fills the house with the women who lived there throughout the nineteenth century, and across the flow of history constructs the secret drama of their destinies.
Praise for Prodigies:
"Gorodischer's rhythmic and transparent prose reveals the violence underlying bourgeois respectability. Prodigies is both incisive and incantatory."—Sofia Samatar, author of A Stranger in Olondria
"Prodigies, which she considers to be her best novel . . . takes place in Germany in the home of the poet Novalis after his death, and is a humorous and ironic portrayal of the women who passed through that home."—Women and Power in Argentinean Literature
Angélica Gorodischer was born in Buenos Aires in 1928 and has lived in Rosario...

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True
title
Prodigies
fullDescription

Locus Recommended Reading
Prodigies explores the story of the poet Novalis's birthplace in the German town of Weissenfels after it is converted into a boarding house. Moving, subtle, and full of wit, irony, and dreams, this novel fills the house with the women who lived there throughout the nineteenth century, and across the flow of history constructs the secret drama of their destinies.
Praise for Prodigies:
"I am so in love with this book I could explode! I want to hug it and pet it and call it George. I knew it would be good, because Small Beer Press publishes the best, but I had no idea how just enchanted I would be with this delightful novel of unusual tenants at a boarding house in the nineteenth century. This book scratched my Muriel Spark/Barbara Comyns itches, with an extra side of the unusual. Originally published in 1994, this is Argentinian writer Gorodischer's third novel to be translated into English. I will definitely be reading the first two now!"
— Liberty Hardy, Book Riot
“Put strangers around a common table and you have possibilities, in life and in literature. Thus the driving premise of The Magic Mountain, and thus Argentine novelist Gorodischer's slender book. . . . Gorodischer writes a poetic, vigorous prose. Her story, dreamlike and start-and-stop, takes effort, for though brief, it is dense—and well worth the trouble."
Kirkus Reviews
"Because of Prodigies' unusual style, it requires great care and thoughtfulness to read. It cannot be rushed through or casually scanned. An impatient reader will abandon this book long before its rich rewards can be reaped. The right audience will have a willingness to savor, to double-back over sentences, to bob along to wherever the author and characters wish to take you. If you are ready for the experience of Prodigies, it is definitely ready for you."
— Carmen Maria Machado, NPR
"Gorodischer's rhythmic and transparent prose reveals the violence underlying bourgeois respectability. Prodigies is both incisive and incantatory."—Sofia Samatar, author of A Stranger in Olondria
"Prodigies, which she considers to be her best novel . . . takes place in Germany in the home of the poet Novalis after his death, and is a humorous and ironic portrayal of the women who passed through that home."—Women and Power in Argentinean Literature
Angélica Gorodischer was born in Buenos Aires in 1928 and has lived in Rosario since 1936. She has published many novels and short story collections including Kalpa Imperial, Mango Juice, and Trafalgar, as well as a memoir, History of My Mother. Her work has been translated into many languages and her translators include Ursula K. Le Guin and Alberto Manguel. With certain self-satisfaction she claims she has never written plays or poems, not even at sixteen when everybody writes poems, especially on unrequited love. She received two Fulbright awards as well as many literary awards around the world, including a 2014 Konex Special Mention Award.

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      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 18, 2015
        Written in 1994, this is the third book by Argentinian writer Gorodischer to appear in English. Ursula K. Le Guin translated the first, Kalpa Imperial: The Greatest Empire That Never Was (also published by Small Beer), which established Gorodischer’s stature in the worlds of SF and speculative fiction. This book is neither genre, however: it’s a fable-like story of a house in the small German town of Weissenfels—a house that was the home of 19th-century German Romantic poet Novalis. Solidly built on a pleasant street, by the mid-19th century it is a boarding house run by the efficient Madame Helena. Gorodischer inhabits the minds of various residents—the general refighting past wars, the tea salon manager dreaming of travel, a retired opera singer and her sullen daughter, a man obsessed with miniature figures, and the cook and maids—around the time a Japanese pearl seller moves in. Although short, the book reads slowly: long, complicated sentences unfurl, mixing prosaic detail about meals (heavy and delicious sounding) with dreams and dread. Despite the house’s many comforts, hauntings penetrate its quotidian world—not witches or ghosts, exactly, but the past, the imagined future, and a kind of unease that stems from being alive, fearful, guilty, human. The residents’ thoughts and routines can charm or chill the reader, and though the book requires patience and tolerance for oddity and open ends, as a picture of the strangeness of life at its most ordinary, it’s a compelling curiosity.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        June 15, 2015
        Pensive, slowly paced study of decidedly nonromantic lives in Romantic-era Saxony. Put strangers around a common table and you have possibilities, in life and in literature. Thus the driving premise of The Magic Mountain, and thus Argentine novelist Gorodischer's slender book, which she has called her most worked-through. The common table in question is in the home of German mystical poet Friedrich von Hardenberg, pen name Novalis, who once said "Philosophiren ist delphlegmatisire"-paraphrased, to philosophize means getting off your butt and doing something. But Novalis died in 1801, and now, later in the 19th century, the inhabitants of his home, now a boardinghouse, have retreated into themselves. One dreams of a room with a view, preferably "in a country in the Americas," where she can lean out the window and see flowers and sun and sea, but here in inland Saxony she must make do with a less appealing view, if one with the virtue of placing no one else's window within sight of hers. An officer of long-ago wars; a fellow "coughing, sunken-chested, with red rashes on his cheeks and white patches beneath his eyes"; and a proprietor with "large, strong hands, amazon legs, and nervous eyes" all live in (and perhaps, it seems, even haunt) the house on Scheller Street, with its distant view of the Danube and its tobacco-impregnated air (thanks to a nearby cigar factory). There is much languorous talk and not much movement; Gorodischer uses long, unhurried sentences to suggest the contours of a way of life that, if civilized, is on the edge of collapse, a world of toasted marzipan rolls within warm kitchens, while just outside are "strange things...presences, as if they were little animals that cannot be heard and yet proper Christians, heads held high, saying no, not at all." Gorodischer writes a poetic, vigorous prose. Her story, dreamlike and start-and-stop, takes effort, for though brief, it is dense-and well worth the trouble.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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tableOfContents

Contents
Part One: Illusion
1. Nothing Will Be As It Was
2. In Black
3. Treasures
4. The House
5. Lola Is Cooking
6. Tea
7. Awakening
8. The Forest of Birch Trees
9. Wulda
10. Deaths
11. "Miraflora"
12. Invitation and conjure
Part Two: Toni plays
13. A Tiny Thought
14. Windows
15. The Sun
16. An Almost Violet Light
17. The Fabulous Animals of the Moon
18. Only His Eyes
19. Youth, the Reddened Warrior
20. Fountains
21. Opera
22. The Red Moon
Part Three: Prodigies
23. Sunrise
24. Luduv
25. Battles
26. Nehala
27. In This World
28. The Princess
29. Forever
30. Exaltation
31. The Women of the House on Scheller Street
32. Medical Science