Mary Coin

By Marisa Silver
(Blue Rider Press, Hardcover, 9780399160707, 322pp.)

Publication Date: March 7, 2013

List Price: $26.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the March 2013 Indie Next List
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, this novel, in turn, speaks volumes about the iconic photograph The Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange. Silver weaves a tale of human survival, passion, and will spanning several decades and involving Lange, a modern professor of cultural history, and the woman in the photograph she took. Evoking the desperate times of the Great Depression and the lives it affected, Silver brings to life the iconic image of the decade. Written with compassion and insight, Mary Coin deals with the will to survive at all costs.”
-- Frank Pester, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT


Description

*An NPR Best Book of 2013*
*A BBC Best Book of 2013*
  In her first novel since The God of War, the critically acclaimed author Marisa Silver takes Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother” photograph as inspiration for a breathtaking reinventiona story of two women, one famous and one forgotten, and of the remarkable legacy of their chance encounter.

In 1936, a young mother resting by the side of a road in Central California is spontaneously photographed by a woman documenting the migrant laborers who have taken to America’s farms in search of work. Little personal information is exchanged, and neither woman has any way of knowing that they have produced what will become the most iconic image of the Great Depression.

Three vibrant characters anchor the narrative of Mary Coin. Mary, the migrant mother herself, who emerges as a woman with deep reserves of courage and nerve, with private passions and carefully-guarded secrets. Vera Dare, the photographer wrestling with creative ambition who makes the choice to leave her children in order to pursue her work. And Walker Dodge, a present-day professor of cultural history, who discovers a family mystery embedded in the picture. In luminous, exquisitely rendered prose, Silver creates an extraordinary tale from a brief moment in history, and reminds us that although a great photograph can capture the essence of a moment, it only scratches the surface of a life.




About the Author
Marisa Silver is the author of The New York Times Notable Book Babe in Paradise. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
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