The Size of the World

The Size of the World Cover

The Size of the World

By Joan Silber

W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393059090, 322pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2008

Description
A richly imagined novel set in wartime Vietnam, Thailand, Mexico, Sicily, and contemporary America about men and women whose jolting encounters with the unfamiliar force them to realize how many "riffs there are to being human." Travelers, colonials, immigrants, and returned ex-pats meet or pass one another in narratives spanning lifetimes.In the book's opening, an engineer in Vietnam is shaken to discover why his company's planes are getting lost. A modern marriage between a Thai Muslim and an American woman leads to a terrible family fight. In 1920s Siam a young woman experiences the colonial stance of her tin-prospecting brother. The last section returns the brother to the States, older now but ever in love with Asian women.Love, loss, yearning, self-delusion, and forgiveness are here in ways fresh and surprising. And in the tradition of E. M. Forster, seeing the size of the world changes the meaning of home-sickness for all the characters.

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