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    9780735276895 Paperback / softback, Trade, , $21 CAD 9780735280366 Downloadable audio file 9780735280373 Downloadable audio file, Library binding, 9780735276888 Electronic book text, EPUB
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    Distributor: Penguin Random House Availability: Not available On Sale Date:Aug 04, 2020 Carton Quantity:12
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The Certainties
By (author): Aislinn Hunter
9780735276871 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Historical / World War II Aug 04, 2020
$29.95 CAD
Out of stock indefinitely 5.45 x 8.3 x 0.84 in | 0.74 lb 248 pages Knopf Random Vintage Canada Knopf Canada
A vivid, moving novel reminiscent of Anthony Doerr and Michael Ondaatje, about the entwined fates of two very different refugees.

In 1940, as the shadow of war lengthens over Europe, three mysterious travelers enter a village in Spain. They have the appearance of Parisian intellectuals, but the trio of two men and a woman are starving and exhausted from crossing illegally through the Pyrenees. Their story, told over a period of 48 tense hours, is narrated by one of the men, who slowly accepts his unthinkable fate. In a voice despairing and elegant, he calmly considers what he should do, and weighs what any one life means. As he does so, his attention is caught by a five-year-old named Pia who wanders near his cafe table. To Pia he begins to address all that he thinks and feels in his final hours—envisioning a rich future life for her that both reflects and contrasts with his own.

Meanwhile, in the 1980s, a woman named Pia seeks solitude on a remote island in the Atlantic, where she works at an inn and reflects on her chaotic childhood. As Pia’s story begins, a raging storm engulfs the island and a boat flounders offshore. Pia and her fellow islanders rush to help—and past and present calamities collide.

By turns elegiac and heart-pounding, a love letter in the guise of a song of despair, The Certainties is a moving and transformative blend of historical and speculative fiction—a novel that shows us what it means to bear witness, and to attend to those who seek refuge, past and present.

Story Locale: Portbou, Spain

RECENT BESTSELLING LITERARY HISTORICAL NOVELS SET DURING WWII: Fans of recent bestsellers by Chris Cleave, Anthony Doerr and Michael Ondaatje will be drawn to Aislinn’s unique approach to a perennially interesting period.

OUTSTANDING LITERARY QUALITY: At the level of the sentence, and in her innovative approach to plotting and time and conveying the quality of memory, we liken Aislinn Hunter to none other than our own Michael Ondaatje. Fans of Warlight will devour this book.

PRIZE-WINNING CANADIAN AUTHOR, INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE: Aislinn’s last novel, The World Before Us, was published to acclaim internationally (Hamish Hamilton in the UK; Hogarth/Crown in the US), was a Globe Top 100 book and won the BC Book Prize for fiction.

AISLINN HUNTER is an award-winning novelist and poet and the author of seven highly acclaimed books including the novel The World Before Us, which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Guardian and NPR “Book of the Year,” and winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Her work has been adapted into music, dance, art, and film forms—including a feature film based on her novel Stay, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Hunter holds degrees in Creative Writing, Art History, Writing and Cultural Politics, and English Literature. In 2018 she served as a Canadian War Artist working with Canadian and NATO forces. She teaches creative writing and lives in Vancouver, BC.

Author Residence: Vancouver, British Columbia

Author Hometown: Belleville, Ontario

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Author Website: aislinnhunter.com

Author Social Media: Twitter: @AislinnHunter

“[A]n intelligent and reflective response to the mysterious and strangely consoling nature of the ordinary. . . . Aislinn Hunter makes the sensory moment meld, almost seamlessly, into the cerebral. . . . Deeply intelligent, finely wrought, this is a novel that deserves to be widely read. And reread.” —The Ormsby Review

“Aislinn Hunter masterfully combines historical and speculative fiction . . . [Hunter] poses weighty, existential questions. Her sensitive, elegant novel portrays historical eras where the good, the enduring, and the worthwhile can vanish, with just a signature on a form. . . . Atmospheric and heady, The Certainties presents a skilled interweaving of subjects—love, loss, memory, personal connections—in settings where, to paraphrase the narrator, there’s ‘so little left it’s almost not worth measuring.’ Lovely albeit sad, the elegiac story holds up a small, flickering light for benighted times. —The Vancouver Sun

“Aislinn Hunter’s latest outing is a study in despair—and in the exquisite, heartbreaking beauty of being alive. . . . The Certainties is a story of loss, both personal and political, shot through with the ordinary wonders of life: the sea, the fresh market olives, the everyday gestures of human kindness. The book is dedicated to Hunter’s late husband, who recently passed away. That grief no doubt contributes to the haunted feel of this story. And to its emotional core: love.” —The Toronto Star

The Certainties is a wonderful mystery, a masterful piece of storytelling that will grip you the first time you read it, and a work of careful art that will reward you when you read it again. Aislinn Hunter has a novelist’s eye for narrative and a poet’s ear for detail, and she has brought those gifts together in this novel of slow and uncompromising power. In these pages, the very idea of bearing witness is given its rightful place.” —Jon McGregor, Man Booker Prize–nominated author of Reservoir 13, and winner of the Costa Novel Award

“I loved The Certainties. What an elegant, moving book . . . It’s deeply aesthetically enjoyable, page by page, and will stay with me. I’m already recommending it to friends as my new favourite novel.” —Connie Gault, Giller-longlisted author of A Beauty

Praise for Aislinn Hunter’s novel The World Before Us

“A complex, subtle, and utterly haunting meditation on memory, history, and mortality. This book is magnificent.” —Emily St. John Mandel

“A novel of considerable beauty . . . haunting and haunted.” —The Globe and Mail

“[Hunter] writes with crispness, precision and a restrained nod to the poetic . . . a sensitive and melancholy meditation on life, death and the potency of the past. . . . A work of great power.” —The Guardian (UK)

“Hypnotically beautiful.” —Chicago Tribune

“Strange and absorbing. . . . [A] richly imagined novel. . . . I relished her book.” —Penelope Lively, The New York Times Book Review

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