Dolce Agonia : a Novel

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McArthur, 2002 - United States - 259 pages
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Dolce Agoniais a sometimes sad yet openly comic work, a moral and social reflection on our times compressed into a few hours of a snowy Thanksgiving night in a small college town in New England. Sean Farrell, the poet “with a gift for instilling discomfort,” is the host for this unforgettable evening: among his dozen guests are poets and writers and professors, former lovers, an artist-turned-housepainter, a bread maker, a secretary, and a young woman with an infant and a haunting past. Not all of them know one another when the evening begins, but, as this remarkable novel unfolds, the reader will come to know each of them intimately—to move inside their skins and to live in their thoughts, to share in their past sufferings and to know their hopes; even to catch a glimpse, through the eyes of their “creator,” into their futures, to know their fates.

It is Nancy Huston’s gift and triumph that she can move so freely and seamlessly from tragedy to comedy. And what comedy she give us: her insights into the ego of the ageing male are as funny as they are uncanny; even the death of a beloved characters is rendered through such absurd twists that laughter overwhelms sadness. With Dolce Agonia, Huston has written an eloquent exploration of mortality that is a celebration of life. At the core of this novel is a universal plea that we never let go of our friends, never lose their stories.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The third from Calgary-born, now Paris-based Huston (Slow Emergencies, 2001, etc.) concerns an alcoholic, neurotic, dying, famous Irish poet who invites a circle of friends from the New England ... Read full review


User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The third of Huston's nine novels to be published in the United States (after The Mark of an Angel and Slow Emergencies), this work undoubtedly has an omniscient narrator-God Himself delivers the ... Read full review



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About the author (2002)

Nancy Huston was born in Calgary, Alberta. In 1973 she went to Paris for a year of study abroad and never moved back. Her books have won the Prix Goncourt des Lyceen, the Prix du Livre-Inter, the Prix Elle (Quebec), the Prix Femina, and the Governor General's Award. Nancy Huston lives in Paris with her husband, the writer Tzvetan Todorov, and their two children.

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