[Read by Christopher Lane]
The gripping story of a dramatic eighteenth-century voyage of discovery.
In her wildly inventive debut novel, Naomi Williams reimagines the historical La Perouse expedition, a voyage of exploration that left Brest in 1785 with two frigates, two hundred men, and overblown Enlightenment ideals and expectations, in a brave attempt to circumnavigate the globe for science and the glory of France.
Deeply grounded in historical fact but refracted through a powerful imagination, Landfalls follows the exploits and heartbreaks not only of the men on the ships but also of the people affected by the voyage -- natives and other Europeans the explorers encountered, loved ones left waiting at home, and those who survived and remembered the expedition later. Each chapter is told from a different point of view and is set in a different part of the world -- ranging from London to Alaska, from remote South Pacific islands to Siberia, and eventually back to France. The result is a beautifully written and absorbing tale of the high seas, scientific exploration, human tragedy, and the world on the cusp of the modern era.
By turns elegiac, profound, and comic, Landfalls reinvents the maritime adventure novel for the twenty-first century.
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Naomi J. Williams lives in Northern California with her family. Landfalls is her first novel.
''Literary art of the first order, intelligent and evocative in the way of the best of historical fiction.'' --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
''By focusing on the penumbra of this legendary voyage, a disastrous, 18th-century quest for geographic knowledge, Naomi J. Williams brilliantly illuminates the enduring story of L'Expedition de Laperouse. The novel is a deft and stunning evocation of human aspiration at the dawn of the Industrial Age.'' --Barry Lopez, author of Arctic Dreams, winner of the National Book Award
''Here is an historical novel so thrilling in the reading, so richly colored and true to life that, reaching the end, I found myself going back to begin it again. I don't ask for more from a book.'' --Lynn Freed, author of The Servants' Quarters
''This is a daring novel deftly written. In Landfalls, Naomi J. Williams conjures entire worlds, both external and internal, with remarkable dexterity, leaping nimbly from setting to setting and heart to heart, assembling a book every bit as moving and wondrous as the journey it recreates. Still, the greatest discovery is left to us: this new author of such rare talent burst upon our world.'' --Josh Weil, author of The Great Glass Sea
''An unceasingly compelling tale of men, adventure and obsession, Landfalls strikes that rare and perfect balance between being a meticulously researched and utterly trustworthy historical account on the one hand, and a damn good story peopled with highly complex emotionally recognizable characters on the other. It is also formally inventive, structurally satisfying, and deeply moving-quite a trifecta for any novelist, let alone a debut. Naomi J. Williams is the real thing.'' --Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted
''Landfalls is a book of aftermaths. European explorers, and the array of communities they encounter landfall by landfall, are all immersed in their own cultural hierarchies set against a mapped, unmapped, remapped and perhaps unmappable world. They are linked by glimpse and remnant, but ultimately by the depths of the unknowable. In elegant, restrained prose deftly balanced with wit and warmth, Williams moves from mystery to mystery, revealing and concealing in waves.'' --Lucy Corin, author of One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses
''Every expedition is a drama, in which the souls caught by the war and peace of human curiosities become master storytellers of their own tales and one another's fate. What a joy to see these characters, long-buried by sea or by land, come alive in Landfalls. Naomi J. Williams is an astute observer of both actions and psychologies, and this brilliant book brings us closer to our fellow explorers before our time.'' --Yiyun Li, author of Kinder Than Solitude
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Buchbeschreibung Brown Book Group Abacus Little Aug 2016, 2016. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - An epic voyage, undertaken with the grandest of ambitions. Lapérouse leaves France in the Spring of 1785 with two ships under his command, knowing that he sails with the full backing of the French government. This is to be a voyage of scientific and geographical discovery - but every person on board has their own hopes, ambitions and dreams. As the ships move across vast distances in their journey of nearly four years, the different characters step forward and invite us into their world. From the remote Alaskan bay where a dreadful tragedy unfolds, to the wild journey Barthélemy de Lessups undertakes from the far east of Russia to St Petersburg, the reader is irresistibly drawn into a extraordinarily vivid world. Landfalls is a profoundly moving and intensely evocative novel about scientific exploration, human endeavour and individual tragedy, 416 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780349140445