Great House

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Center Point Pub., 2011 - Fiction - 431 pages
502 Reviews
Finalist for the 2010 National Book Award in Fiction: A powerful, soaring novel about a stolen desk that contains the secrets, and becomes the obsession, of the lives it passes through. For twenty-five years, a reclusive American novelist has been writing at the desk she inherited from a young Chilean poet who disappeared at the hands of Pinoche's secret police; one day a girl claiming to be the poet's daughter arrives to take it away, sending the writer's life reeling. Across the ocean, in the leafy suburbs of London, a man caring for his dying wife discovers, among her papers, a lock of hair that unravels a terrible secret. In Jerusalem, an antiques dealer slowly reassembles his father's study, plundered by the Nazis in Budapest in 1944. Connecting these stories is a desk of many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or have given it away. As the narrators of Great House make their confessions, the desk takes on more and more meaning, and comes finally to stand for all that has been taken from them, and all that binds them to what has disappeared. Great House is a story haunted by questions: What do we pass on to our children and how do they absorb our dreams and losses? How do we respond to disappearance, destruction, and change? Nicole Krauss has written a soaring, powerful novel about memory struggling to create a meaningful permanence in the face of inevitable loss.

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Review: Great House

User Review  - Goodreads

It's an interesting puzzle, only instead of everyone fitting together, people are substitutions for one another and echoes of one another. Silence is a huge element of the story, and misdirection--and writing. Read full review

Review: Great House

User Review  - Goodreads

Intersecting stories about a big, heavy, looming desk and the people who've sat at it. This is one, like Euphoria by Lily King for me, that I didn't love, but will be thinking about for a long time ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Nicole Krauss is an international best selling author. The History of Love (W.W. Norton 2005) won the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, France's Prix du Meilleur Livre ?tranger, was named #1 book of the year by Amazon.com, and was short-listed for the Orange, Médicis, and Femina prizes. Nicole's first novel, Man Walks Into a Room, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for First Fiction. In 2007, she was selected as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists, and in 2010 The New Yorker named her one of the 20 best writers under 40. Her most recent novel is GREAT HOUSE (W.W. Norton October 2010). Nicole's books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Krauss recently completed a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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