Russian politics and regional dynamics were deemphasized, though, so it was somewhat generically about any oppressed, occupied state. Their life-long friend and neighbour, Akhmed, has also been watching, and when he finds Havaa he knows of only I haven't read what GR friends have said about this book--I'm coming to it a little later than most--which made it all the more of a pleasure. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena won the 2014 National Book Critics Circle’s inaugural John Leonard Prize and the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, as well as the inaugural 2014 Carla Furstenberg Cohen Fiction Award. ANTHONY MARRA is the winner of a Whiting Award, Pushcart Prize, and the Narrative Prize. 6. To say this was an excellent book would be an understatement. Over the course of five extraordinary days, their worlds will unravel in unimaginable ways, culminating in a breathtaking, ultimately affirming turn of fate. The A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community members like you. I look forward to more from this author. Can suspicion and corruption ever rise to a level that makes loyalty impossible? Discuss the title (in chapter 24, Sonja stumbles across it in a Russian medical dictionary’s definition of life). I haven't read what GR friends have said about this book--I'm coming to it a little later than most--which made it all the more of a pleasure. Every week we host a new literary giveaway! Yet again I am left baffled by the glowing reviews and the hype. The novel isn’t so much about the wars in Chechnya per se as how individuals relate to each other when law and order has been perverted out of all recognition and they only have their own moral compass as a guide. We all know, as William Tecumseh Sherman once noted, that “War is Hell!” Later, Jean-Paul Sartre concluded that “Hell is other people.” It therefore stands to reason that war is other people. What is Khassan’s key to survival? It takes place in post-war Chechnya, but don't be alarmed if you don't know much about the Chechen conflict with Russia — the rich storytelling and the gorgeous prose will draw you in, and by the end of the book you could captivate an audience with these wartime stories. The engrossing story was heartbreaking, uplifting, sad, and confirmed the best in people in terrible sit. 8. Refresh and try again. Good thing for me that it's about others because what Marra described in this book sounded awful. It hews to the historical record. The definition of a foot. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is such a book. But Marra crosses the t’s and dots the i’s and leaves the reader an emotional wreck. After reading the blurb, I knew this is going to be a sad story but what I didn’t know was that it was going to be this disappointing. To say this was an excellent book would be an understatement. Try I started off lost in a coulee reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena with seven of my Traveling Sisters and some of us really got lost in this story. At Read It Forward, we have a healthy obsession with authors, stories, and the readers who love them. Before reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, how much did you know about Chechnya? Get weekly book recommendations delivered right to your inbox and find out What We’re Reading. Good thing for me that it's about others because what Marra described in this book sounded awful. but it made me think really? 12. Garnering rave reviews coast-to-coast, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is an unforgettable debut novel that deftly explores the human cost of war—and the healing power of hope. Enter to win our favorite new reads, bookish goodies, and so much more. I knew little of Chechnya, and Marra does a masterful job of supplying enough information without weighing down the narrative. The lyricism of the long sentence is what captivated me at the time, but it also encapsulates muc. Two doctors risk everything to save the life of a hunted child in this majestic debut about love, … Borrow or purchase this book ― Anthony Marra, quote from A Constellation of Vital Phenomena “There was a time when she had indulged in the hypothetical for hours a day, plotting the map that had led her here. 2. It begins with the horror of a father, Dokka, taken violently away by the Feds during the middle of the night. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker may be best known for her roles on HBO’s Sex and the City and Divorce as well as for being a fashion... A brilliant debut novel that brings to life an abandoned hospital where a tough-minded doctor decides to harbor a hunted young girl, with powerful consequences. Russ. A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is the 2013 debut novel by American author Anthony Marra. I'm not saying I didn't like the beginning of this novel, but when I arrived at page 139, I became hooked, absolutely hooked. We all found our comfy spot to read this and were drawn into this densely vivid heavy in-depth plot that demanded our full attention. It can feel satisfying on one level with everything fitting so neatly (who has crossed paths with whom, etc.) A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance. What do his daughter’s memories of him say about his hopes and fears? Anthony Marra's first novel was A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (2013), which won an array of prizes including the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, the Barnes and Noble Fiction Discover Award, the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle and the Athens Prize for Literature, and appeared on more than twenty Books of the Year lists. Start by marking “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena” as Want to Read: Error rating book. I know how I felt while reading this book, but why? But Marra crosses the t’s and dots the i’s and leaves the reader an emotional wreck. I loved this book and did not want it to end. Nothing for insanity by grief, or insanity by loneliness, or insanity by reading reference books. Life is valued by the governing powers as cheaply as in the Nazi concentration camps. “Life: a constellation of vital phenomena—organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation.” ― Anthony Marra, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena The focus was clearly on the human side. The history of ethnic strife in Chechnya is long and confusing. I am in awe; Anthony Marra has a rare gift with words. Author: Anthony Marra. Thanks! Life: a constellation of vital phenomena. So many glowing reviews made me think that it was going to be a book that I would going to remember for a very very long time, that too in a good way. How are cultural identities shaped in the midst of political, military, economic, and religious power struggles? The end of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena isn’t neatly tied up. She is found by Akhmed, the neighbouring doctor, who makes it his mission to ensure her safety and leads her to the one remaining hospital where he delivers her to the doctor, Sonja. Anthony Marra's debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, takes place in war-torn Chechnya — a world of perpetual violence, fear and exploding land mines. “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena” is set against the tangle of wars, occupations and insurgencies that have racked Chechnya since the early 1990s. Oh, what a joy to read a fully-realized, beautifully written, totally engrossing novel. Ostensibly the novel is set in Chechnya though in many ways the novel depicts a generic modern war and the terrifying lawlessness that prevails in an invaded country. We got chopped off fingers, burned down houses, torture-induced ratting, and a whole host of other atrocities. 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