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Alva and Irva: The Twins Who Saved a City
EDWARD CAREY

Alva and Irva: The Twins Who Saved a City by Edward Carey
5 reviews (2003) (224p)
ALA Notable Books - Fiction Finalist

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Book Description
Alva and Irva Dapps are identical twin sisters who live in the city of Entralla. Like the Emerald City, Gondal, and Brobdingnag, only one guidebook to the place exists, and this novel is it. Alva is an explorer who longs to travel the world. Irva is a recluse for whom stepping outside the house is an ordeal. Yet the twins feel each other's emotions, think each other's thoughts, love and hate and suffer as one--they cannot survive without one another. And thereby hangs an inventive tale of creativity, obsession, and genius bred by necessity. Together, the twins build a model of the city on a scale that might accommodate the desires of both sisters and comes to serve Entralla in a way its creators never could have imagined.


Amazon.com Review
English playwright Edward Carey's novel Alva & Irva is a spirited, inventive tale with a vein of half-ironic sadness running through it that brings to mind the works of other European masters of this genre, namely Günter Grass, Italio Calvino, and Milan Kundera. Named for twin girls who create a plasticine model of their small European city, Alva & Irva is in part the life story of these eccentric twins and also a guidebook to the fictional city of Entralla. Entralla is a place so like countless small, undistinguished cities in Europe (right down to its invented brush with history--a rumor that Napoleon had spent a night there) that one could probably use Alva & Irva as an actual guidebook, standing in any number of piazzas, plazas, and squares, and glancing around at the cafés, cathedrals, chapels, post offices, and municipal buildings. Sometimes Carey overreaches, and the quirks of his characters become merely cute. When he rises above this, his attention to detail and his playful prose are a delight. --Regina Marler


Edward Carey Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 1  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 1  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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