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Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories
JOAN SILBER

Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories by Joan Silber
18 reviews (2004) (224p)
National Book Award Finalist

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Book Description
"Joan Silber writes with wisdom, humor, grace, and wry intelligence. Her characters bear welcome news of how we will survive."—Andrea Barrett

Supple and precise, these stories cover lifetimes, much in the manner of Alice Munro and William Trevor. Set in France, Italy, New York, and China, in the past and present, they are about longings—about how sex and religion become parallel forms of dedication and comfort.

Though the stories stand alone, a minor element in one becomes major in the next. In "My Shape," a woman is taunted by her dance coach, who later suffers his own heartache. A Venetian poet of the 1500s, another storyteller, is introduced to a modern traveler reading Rilke. His story precedes a mesmerizing narrative of missionaries in China. In the final story, Giles, born to a priesthood family, leans toward Buddhism after a grievous loss, and in time falls in love with the dancer of the first story.

So deft and subtle is Joan Silber with these various perspectives that we come full circle surprised and enchanted by her myriad worlds.


Other Award Winning Books by Joan Silber
Improvement by Joan Silber
20 reviews (2017) (256p) (NBCCA)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
Fools by Joan Silber
21 reviews (2013) (256p) (PF)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
The Size of the World by Joan Silber
5 reviews (2008) (352p) (LATimes)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page

Joan Silber Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 3  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 3  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 1 Improvement ·  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 1 Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories ·  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 1 Fools ·  

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

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Pulitzer Prize | National Book Critics Circle Award | National Book Award | PEN/Faulkner Award | Man Booker Prize | Contact