The Plain Sense of Things

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September 2008



In prose as clean and beautiful as the stark prairie setting, "The Plain Sense of Things" tells the stories of three generations of a western Nebraska family. These tales of sorrow and hope are connected by the sinews of need and flawed love that keep families together. A farm wife struggles to support her children after the death of her second husband; a young woman grapples with the shift from girlhood to motherhood; World War II wreaks havoc on those left behind; and a failing farmstead breaks a family's heart. Amid hardship and change, these interwoven stories illuminate the resilience and dignity--and the subtle sweetness--of a life lived in clear view of the plain sense of things. Download a Study Guide (pdf).


Ghost Town; Hard Times Ahead; Sliding Down the Milky Way; Be Careful What You Wish For; Elitch Gardens; Never Mind; Good-Bye, Old Kid; Pipe Dreams; Wonderful Words of Life; Lost Boy; How Is It Where You Are?; Fibber Magee's Closet; Secrets; Saved; I Wonder Why-why-why-why; Little Deaths and Minor Resurrections; Love Songs


Pamela Carter Joern's debut novel, "The Floor of the Sky" (available in a Bison Books edition), was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and winner of the Alex Award and the Nebraska Book Award. Joern is a playwright, the winner of a Tamarack Award, and the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board writing fellowship. Visit her Web site at www.pamelacarterjoern.com.


"There is a lovely solemnity to the lives of these characters--a hardness that Joern knows is alloyed with an abiding tenderness. That undercurrent is carried along in deceptively simple prose, writing that is stunningly clear." Jane Hamilton, author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World "Pam Joern works her quiet, penetrating magic to tell a deeply moving story of endurance and family love and loyalty. The Plain Sense of Things is a novel with a capacious heart. Joern depicts a hardscrabble midwestern world whose simplicity and starkness are deceiving. Her characters are complex, passionate, memorable. We grow to love them because Joern loves them, and this is clear in how beautifully and quietly she listens to their lives and their silences. Nebraska has found its chronicler and the world a first-rate storyteller." Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies "A moving family saga full of memorable characters whose struggles to survive the hardships of rural Nebraska life will haunt the reader." Jonis Agee, author of The River Wife Set against the backdrop of the Nebraska prairie, Joern's powerful second offering follows three generations as they navigate the greater part of the 20th century. In 1930, Gramp comes to collect five-year-old Billy after his mother dies. This stoic beginning sets the tone for the rest of the novel as characters endure poverty, illness and betrayal. Subsequent generations share storytelling duties; there's Jake, Gramp's son, now a hardworking farmer with "bottom teeth toppled together like gravestones in a country churchyard"; Alice, his young wife who stands by him through endless hardship; and their children Stevie, Frank and Molly, all of whom leave rural life behind. Evocative prose elevates Joern's excellent portrayal of the family's evolution and brings a warmth and richness to a stark landscape. Publishers Weekly
EAN: 9780803216198
ISBN: 080321619X
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: September 2008
Seitenanzahl: 221 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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