The Little Book
By Selden Edwards
(Plume, Paperback, 9780452295513, 416pp.)
Publication Date: May 26, 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Thirty years in the writing, Selden Edwards' dazzling first novel is an irresistible triumph of the imagination. Wheeler Burden-banking heir, philosopher, student of history, legend's son, rock idol, writer, lover, recluse, half-Jew, and Harvard baseball hero-one day finds himself wandering not in his hometown of San Francisco in 1988 but in a city and time he knows mysteriously well: Vienna, 1897. Before long, Wheeler acquires a mentor in Sigmund Freud, a bitter rival, a powerful crush on a luminous young woman, and encounters everyone from an eight-year-old Adolf Hitler to Mark Twain as well as the young members of his own family. Solving the riddle of Wheeler's dislocation in time will ultimately reveal nothing short of one eccentric family's unrivaled impact upon the course of human history.
Edwards, author of The Lost Prince, brilliantly weaves romance, art, history, and culture in this unforgettable and dazzling debut novel.
Selden Edwards began writing The Little Book as a young English teacher in 1974, and continued to layer and refine the manuscript until its completion in 2007. He most recently authored The Lost Prince. He spent his career as headmaster at several independent schools across the country, and for over forty years has been secretary of his class at Princeton, where he also played basketball. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.
- We learn at the beginning of The Little Book that the story will be narrated by Flora Zimmerman Burden, the mother of Wheeler Burden. Why did the author choose Flora to fill the role of narrator? How might the book be different if Wheeler told the story in the first person?
"A soaring thing of joy whose only purpose-and I mean this as a compliment-is to delight and entertain."
-Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air
"Delightfully mad. . .a thrilling adventure."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"The product of a writer in full command of his gifts."
"A wide-ranging novel of grand ideas. . .a graceful waltz of a book, spinning at times at dizzying speed, but leaving behind a haunting, unforgettable melody."
-New Orleans Times-Picayune
"Back to the Future for the intellectual set."
"Inventive, bracing, poignant and well written. . . it should be at the top of everyone's summer reading list."
"It's hard not to be thoroughly taken with such an approach to both the real and imagined past."
-New York Daily News
-New York Post