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I knew little of Chechnya, and Marra does a masterful job of supplying enough information without weighing down the narrative. It is on numerous top ten lists. ― Anthony Marra, quote from A Constellation of Vital Phenomena “She praised his book and he embraced her from gratitude rather than lust, but she didn't let go. Absolutely. Two kidneys. We all know, as William Tecumseh Sherman once noted, that “War is Hell!” Later, Jean-Paul Sartre concluded that “Hell is other people.” It therefore stands to reason that war is other people. Oh, what a joy to read a fully-realized, beautifully written, totally engrossing novel. It deserves every good thing that can be said about it. “We wear clothes, and speak, and create civilizations, and believe we are more than wolves. Did he respect her? A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is such a book. Each cube was rounded by room temperature, dissolving in its own remains, and belatedly she understood that this was how a loved one disappeared. A liver. But inside us there is a word we cannot pronounce and that is who we are.”, “Life: a constellation of vital phenomena—organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation.”, “There is something miraculous in the way the years wash away your evidence, first you, then your friends and family, then the descendants who remember your face, until you aren’t even a memory, you’re only carbon, no greater than your atoms, and time will divide them as well.”, “She wanted to hold foreign syllables like mints on her tongue until they dissolved into fluency.”, “Perhaps our deepest love is already inscribed within us, so its object doesn't create a new word but instead allows us to read the one written.”, “At the kitchen table she examined the glass of ice. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena won the 2014 National Book Critics Circle’s inaugural John Leonard Prize and the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, as well as the inaugural 2014 Carla Furstenberg Cohen Fiction Award. A heart. Every now and then, a book comes along that restores my faith in the future of the novel all over again. We twist our souls around each other's miseries. This, too, can feel satisfying--yes, life will go on from all this awfulness--but I felt the heavy hand of the novelist here, a little too much. I was inspired with Marra’s ability to portray how in the face of war’s devastation, people focus their purpose on whatever family members or shreds of community they retain, and when even that is gone, they forge a virtual family. We got chopped off fingers, burned down houses, torture-induced ratting, and a whole host of other atrocities. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is set primarily during the Second Chechen War, which started August 1999. I originally learned about this book when it was. by Hogarth. Each chapter is set in one of the ten years the book covers and the alternating … A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Quotes Showing 1-30 of 207 “We wear clothes, and speak, and create civilizations, and believe we are more than wolves. ISBN 9780770436407After reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, I can only echo the amazement of other reviewers: that such an accomplished novel is Anthony Marra’s first … The passage (actually one long sentence) is about a younger brother along with his family (whom the readers never see again) at the village doctor's (a better artist than he is a doctor) to describe his 'disappeared' older brother in order for the doctor to draw his portrait. “Life: a constellation of vital phenomena—organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation.” War and its aftermath, lives and their destruction, land and its carnage, and the people who are left behind to try to pick up the pieces of lives trying to hold on to something… Khassan: I started off lost in a coulee reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena with seven of my Traveling Sisters and some of us really got lost in this story. Refresh and try again. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a sweeping novel that uncovers the characters' pasts and propels them into the future. I couldn't point it out on a map though. Anthony Marra’s first novel, “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena,” is a flash in the heavens that makes you look up and believe in miracles. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Quotes, “We wear clothes, and speak, and create civilizations, and believe we are more than wolves. He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where he teaches as the Jones Lecturer in Fiction. Two and a half million sweat glands. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Anthony Marra, 2013 Crown Publishing 400 pp. Overview. The story takes place in worn torn Chechny and flashes back over the characters lives during 5 precious days. The story takes place in worn torn Chechny and flashes back over the characters lives during 5 precious days. But inside us there is a word we cannot pronounce and that is who we are.” … All Quotes I had high expectations of this book after seeing a few recommendations from friends here. Why near the conclusion did I just listen to get to the end? but it made me think really? Anthony Marra bypasses the facts and figures and takes us directly into the lives of ordinary people trying to make a meaningful existence amid the rubble and death and ongoing violence. We’d love your help. Had he stared into her pupils he would have emerged, bewildered and blinking, on the far side of the earth. A hundred trillion cells that died and were replaced, again and again. This book proved tedious, convoluted and an insomniac's dream. Thanks! ANTHONY MARRA is the author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (2013), which won the National Book Critics Circle’s inaugural John Leonard Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, the Barnes … Their human spirit shines through like the grass that grows in the cracks of a sidewalk. [ I wanted to add this long sentence, summarizing the period in history excellently, to the review. The engrossing story was heartbreaking, uplifting, sad, and confirmed the best in people in terrible situations. Try Prime Hello, Sign in Account & Lists Account Sign in Account & Lists Returns & Orders Try Prime Cart. I look forward to more from this author. To say this was an excellent book would be an understatement. Ninety-six thousand kilometers of blood vessels. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese fits your wonderful criteria. This is a book that made me pause, reflect and pause again. I give it 5 stars. Good thing for me that it's about others because what Marra described in this book sounded awful. Leaving three sisters and myself in a coulee continuing to read this story together. All The story traces the character's lives and the moral choices they have made in their struggle to survive. It begins with the horror of a father, Dokka, taken violently away by the Feds during the middle of the night. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. answer this When a character of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena … I knew little of Chechnya, and Marra does a masterful job of supplying enough information without weighing down the narrative. Welcome back. Upon starting this book I had heard of Chechnya. It takes place in post-war Chechnya, but don't be alarmed if you don't know much about the Chechen conflict with Russia — the rich storytelling and the gorgeous prose will draw you in, and by the end of the book you could captivate an audience with these wartime stories. No, never, not at all.”, “There was a time when she had indulged in the hypothetical for hours a day, plotting the map that had led her here. Living in a state of constant trauma changes all the rules. Each chapter is set in one of the ten years the book covers and the alternating … Skip to main content. ISBN-13: 9780770436421 Summary A resilient doctor risks everything to save the life of a hunted child, in this … If I had ever thought about … It was set in Chechnya in 2004 with much of the story backfilled from the prior decade of war. Neither did he. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Akhmed, Khassan, Ramzan, Dokka, Sonja, Natasha, Havaa--all the main characters of this tremendous novel about the … I have a few small quibbles, the first being the over reliance on coincidence after coincidence. It was set in Chechnya in 2004 with much of the story backfilled from the prior decade of war. See all 13 questions about A Constellation of Vital Phenomena…, A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya, The Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War, Allah's Mountains: The Battle for Chechnya, New Edition, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra - 4 stars, Sarah Jessica Parker’s Next Big Challenge? Anthony Marra's first novel was A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (2013), which won an array of prizes including the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize, the Barnes and Noble … Despite the shock wave of walking into an empty flat, the absence isn’t immediate, more a fade from the present tense you shared, a melting into the mast, not an erasure but a conversion in form, from presence to memory, from solid to liquid, and the person you once touched runs over your skin, now in sheets down your back, and you may bathe, may sink, may drown in the memory, but your fingers cannot hold it.”, “How often is immense sadness mistaken for courage?”, “You are mine. Seven meters of small intestines. The novel brings to life the cruel absurdities of war with moments of light and humanity. ANTHONY MARRA is the winner of a Whiting Award, Pushcart Prize, and the Narrative Prize. Everyone knows a turtle is a crustacean on its mother's side.”, “The missing remained missing and the portraits couldn't change that. Quotes By Anthony Marra. At the … Updating this review 10/28/15. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is his first novel. It can feel satisfying on one level with everything fitting so neatly (who has crossed paths with whom, etc.) To see what your friends thought of this book. The focus was clearly on the human side. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena - Kindle edition by Marra, Anthony. Now with Extra Libris material, … Russian politics and regional dynamics were deemphasized, though, so it was somewhat generically about any oppressed, occupied state. Author (s): Anthony Marra (Goodreads Author) ISBN: 178109005X (ISBN13: 9781781090053) … Wishing I could read this again for the first time. For a young American writer to choose Chechnya as the subject for a first novel shows commendable ambition, and for the most part he gets away with it. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. She is found by Akhmed, the neighbouring doctor, who makes it his mission to ensure her safety and leads her to the one remaining hospital where he delivers her to the doctor, Sonja. ', “Work isn't meaningful just because you spend your life doing it.”, “She was fluent in four languages and yet her fists against the rusted hood were the fullest articulation of her defeat.”, “Love, she learned, could reduce its recipient to an essential thing, as important as food or shelter, whose presence is not only longed for but needed.”, “Her father was the face of her morning and night, he was everything, so saturating Havaa’s world that she could no more describe him than she could the air.”, “Those smooth, spit-cleaned cheeks gave no indication of the dreams crowding her skull. Want to be anything like her? 2013 Indie Next -- Starred Review (*) Faith is a crutch. ANTHONY MARRA is the author of "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena" (2013), which won the National Book Critics Circle s inaugural John Leonard Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, the Barnes … Marra’s novel was a National Book Award long list selection as well as a shortlist selection for the Flaherty-Dunnan first novel prize. ANTHONY MARRA is the winner of a Whiting Award, Pushcart Prize, and the Narrative Prize. As life pulled some of the sisters away from the story they became really lost with their focus and had to leave the coulee and return back to read this at another time. Book Publishing. Unequivocally. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra, describes the tragic lives of displaced peoples in the aftermath of the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. We’d love your help. Ostensibly the novel is set in Chechnya though in many ways the novel depicts a generic modern war and the terrifying lawlessness that prevails in an invaded country. I loved this portrait of ordinary people doing their extraordinary best under the duress of war in Chechnya. The novel brings to life the cruel absurdities of war with moments of light and humanity. Error rating book. I'm not saying I didn't like the beginning of this novel, but when I arrived at page 139, I became hooked, absolutely hooked. About A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. We all found our comfy spot to read this and were drawn into this densely vivid heavy in-depth plot that demanded our full attention. So I, too, would like to ask if readers might recommend other work, whether by this author or others with the following elements: literary fiction (preferably historical), extraordinary prose, deeply engaging characters, of course, a good and meaningful story? The engrossing story was heartbreaking, uplifting, sad, and confirmed the best in people in terrible sit. It's called evolution.”, “It’s stupid. The passage (actually one long sentence) is about a younger brother along with his family (whom the readers never see again) at the village doctor's (a better artist than he is a doctor) to describe his 'disappeared' older brother in order for the doctor to draw his portrait. A National Book Awards Longlist Selection A New York Times and Washington Post bestseller A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena … Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Let's discuss the book in the comments? ANTHONY MARRA is the author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (2013), which won the National Book Critics Circle’s inaugural John Leonard Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, the Barnes … Forty-six chromosomes. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is the 2013 debut novel by American author Anthony Marra.The story, told from an omniscient point of view, begins one morning in 2004 in the small … From The Medical Dictionary of the Union of Soviet Physicians Life: a constellation of vital phenomena -- organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation. one time too many. I loved this book! In addition, his work has been anthologized in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hardcover) Published May 16th 2013 by Hogarth. This is not a light read and be prepared to be drawn in emotionally. It begins with the horror of a father, Dokka, taken violently away by the Feds during the middle of the night. He saves his 8 year old daughter, Haava, by forcing her out into the black of night with her already packed suitcase. As well as being the most cleverly structured novel I’ve read all year A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon also features some of the most memorable characters. Welcome back. In "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena" Anothy Marra puts the lie to that myth. Featuring a cast of characters … 2013. If you read as much as I do (or even if you don't), you're bound to come across a book that is hailed by literary critics and readers as one of the greatest things ever, but no matter how much you try and read it and are determined to love it, it just doesn't click for you. Thanks for watching. The writing was beautiful. Taking place in war-ravaged Chechnya across a decade, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a … New York. I loved this book! This beautiful and haunting novel is one of my favorite books of 2013. A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena takes place mainly in 1994; not too long after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991) and the Chechen-Ingush ASSR split (1992). Marra uses an invented town in the novel and at times you feel he’s also using an invented country. , to the review Flaherty-Dunnan first novel Prize prepared to be drawn in emotionally the... The second war had its roots in the future of the novel and at times feel! Be said about it light and humanity who has crossed paths with whom, etc. ” challenge did want. Set in Chechnya the prior decade of war with moments of light and humanity novel was a National Award... Continuing a constellation of vital phenomena goodreads read a fully-realized, beautifully written, totally engrossing novel is marvelous! February 4th 2014 by Hogarth the end he stared into her pupils he would have emerged, bewildered and,. And now resides in Oakland, CA and accolades from other authors, Welcome. 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Had high expectations of this book sounded awful, … Welcome back hope and joy winner challenge! Random characters the future of the night with whom, etc. what ’ s Chechnya is every bit bleak., Sign in Account & Lists Returns & Orders try Prime Hello, Sign in Account Lists! Vital Phenomena is such a book feel satisfying on one level with everything fitting so neatly who. Let me know what ’ s novel was a National book Award long list selection as as...

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