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The Pearl Diver by Jeff Talarigo
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The Pearl Diver by Jeff Talarigo
Paperback $15.95
Apr 12, 2005 | ISBN 9781400034918

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  • Apr 12, 2005 | ISBN 9781400034918

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  • Dec 18, 2007 | ISBN 9780307429148

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“Hypnotic . . . Talarigo’s prose is as evocative as a Hokusai woodcut.” –Los Angeles Times

“At once exquisite and horrifying, a piece of delicacy forged out of pain and the struggle against numbness. . . . There is no denying the loveliness of this book. . . . In Miss Fuji, [Talarigo] has given us a genuine hero.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Transformative. . . . Explores the question of what a person becomes after having been stripped of everything: name, family and function, privacy and freedom. Talarigo’s answer seems to be that we are saved not by what we are but by who we are, the part of us that exists within the flesh, that is capable of transcendence.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Luminous. . . . Everything looks magical through [Talarigo’s] lens.” — The Baltimore Sun

“One of the most honest, tender, and inventive books I’ve read in years. Talarigo never steps out of culture, out of voice, out of place; and yet this is a universal story, one of love, one of neglect, one of shame. . . . He can find redemption even in the narrowest corridors of the human spirit.” –Colum McCann, author of Dancer

“[A] meditation on endurance and socially sanctioned cruelty. . . . A quiet triumph.” —Chicago Tribune

"Absorbing and original. Talarigo has managed to create a tone and mood that are themselves expressions of a time and a place and a people. The resulting light radiates outward from one small society in post-war Japan–across the waters and the years–to where the reader sits, still deeply immersed after the last page has been turned." –John Burnham Schwartz, author of Reservation Road

"Utterly believable. . . . In Talarigo’s hands, the leprosarium and all the humiliations that go with it take on a mythical aspect, while remaining intimate and specific. . . . The Pearl Diver does not feel like a first novel. There is nothing tentative, nothing lacking from this moving story." —The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

"Quietly powerful. . . . This is a lyrically told tale of ugliness redeemed and lives changed by small acts with large consequences. " –Liza Dalby, author of Geisha

"Spare . . . lyrical. . . . [Talarigo] has absorbed the delicate timbre of Japanese culture and literature . . . [and uses this] sensibility to paint bold, clean brush strokes that allow readers to envision the true picture. . . . A moving, simple, yet powerful story of how a soul can find a measure of dignity and freedom even in the most daunting circumstances. The life of [Miss Fuji] reverberates within the hearts of the fortunate people who get to discover her." —The Anniston Star

"An absolute, breathtaking gem. . . . Heartbreaking, haunting, but ultimately hopeful . . . a true secret treasure. . . . This one’s the real thing." —Asian Week

"Talarigo has pulled a magnificent pearl of his own from the Inland Sea, a perfectly crafted, beautifully controlled and subtly multi-layered story about belonging and isolation that quickly transcends our baser fascination with the dreaded disease." —Fort Myers News-Press

"[A] terrific debut . . . [A] wise and merciful book. . . . This tautly written tale . . . simmers with quiet outrage not just at the horror of difference that prevails in a society built on conformity, but at the near-universal impulse to strip the sick and outcast of all that makes them human. . . . A moving poem to the tenacity of ordinary human dignity under unspeakable conditions." —LA Weekly

"Lovely, lyrical. . . . A gem you must not miss." —Westchester Journal-News


New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age WINNER

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