A Possible Life

A Novel in Five Parts

By Sebastian Faulks
(Henry Holt & Company, Hardcover, 9780805097306, 287pp.)

Publication Date: December 11, 2012

List Price: $25.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the December 2012 Indie Next List
“This incredible novel traces the separate trajectories of five unforgettable lives in five different time periods. Each life story is expertly etched by Faulks, and each could stand alone, but the stories become even more compelling as they join to form a provocative whole.”
-- Jenny Lyons, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT


Description

From the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of "Birdsong," new fiction about love and war--five transporting stories and five unforgettable lives, linked across centuries.


In Second World War Poland, a young prisoner closes his eyes and pictures going to bat on a sunlit English cricket ground.


Across the yard of a Victorian poorhouse, a man is too ashamed to acknowledge the son he gave away.


In a 19th-century French village, an old servant understands--suddenly and with awe--the meaning of the Bible story her master is reading to her.


On a summer evening in the Catskills in 1971, a skinny girl steps out of a Chevy with a guitar and with a song that will send shivers through her listeners' skulls.


A few years from now, in Italy, a gifted scientist discovers links between time and the human brain and between her lover's novel and his life.


Throughout the five masterpieces of fiction that make up "A Possible Life," exquisitely drawn and unforgettable characters risk their bodies, hearts and minds in pursuit of the manna of human connection. Between soldier and lover, parent and child, servant and master, and artist and muse, important pleasures and pains are born of love, separations and missed opportunities. These interactions--whether successful or not--also affect the long trajectories of characters' lives.


Provocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks's dazzling new novel journeys across continents and centuries not only to entertain with superb old-fashioned storytelling but to show that occasions of understanding between humans are the one thing that defines us--and that those moments, however fluid, are the one thing that endures.




About the Author
Sebastian Faulks is the internationally bestselling author of 11 novels, including "Charlotte Gray", which was made into a film starring Cate Blanchett, and the #1 international bestseller and classic "Birdsong", which has sold more than 3 million copies and has been adapted for the stage, for television (starring Eddie Redmayne) and is now in development as a feature film. In 2008, Faulks was invited to write a James Bond novel, "Devil May Care", to mark the centenary of Ian Fleming. In 2011, he presented the 4-part television series "Faulks on Fiction" for the BBC. He lives in London.


NPR
Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012

Critic Alan Cheuse reviews the new novel by British novelist Sebastian Faulks, called A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Sunday, Dec 9, 2012

Author Sebastian Faulks says all of the characters in his new novel, A Possible Life, "struggle with the idea of selfhood, and who they are and identity." The novel weaves together five separate stories, jumping centuries and locations, and Faulks compares them to movements in a symphony. More at NPR.org

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