Unspeakable things: a novel

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Language:
English
Description
A wild, erotic novel--a daring debut--from the much-admired, award-winning poet, author of Flying Inland, A History of Yearning, and With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz, and Others . A strange, haunting novel about survival and love in all its forms; about sexual awakenings and dark secrets; about European refugee intellectuals who have fled Hitler's armies with their dreams intact and who have come to an elusive new (American) "can do, will do" world they cannot seem to find. A novel steeped in surreal storytelling and beautiful music that transports its half-broken souls--and us--to another realm of the senses. The setting: the early 1940s, New York--city of refuge, city of hope, with the specter of a red-hot Europe at war. At the novel's center: Anna (known as the Rat), an exotic Hungarian countess with the face of an angel, beautiful eyes, and a seraphic smile, with a passionate intelligence, an exquisite ugliness, and the power to enchant . . . Her second cousin Herbert, a former minor Austrian civil servant who believes in Esperanto and the international rights of man, wheeling and dealing in New York, powerful in the social sphere yet under the thumb of his wife, Adeline . . . Michael, their missing homosexual son . . . Felix, a German pediatrician who dabbles in genetic engineering, practicing from his Upper East Side office with his little dachshund, Schatzie, by his side . . . The Tolstoi String Quartet, four men and their instruments, who for twenty years lived as one, playing the great concert halls of Europe, escaping to New York with their money sewn into the silk linings of their instrument cases . . . And watching them all: Herbert's eight-year-old granddaughter, Maria, who understands from the furtive fear of her mother, and the huddled penury of their lives, and the sense of being in hiding, even in New York, that life is a test of courage and silence, Maria witnessing the family's strange comings and goings, being regaled at night, when most are asleep, with the intoxicating, thrilling stories of their secret pasts . . . of lives lived in Saint Petersburg . . . of husbands being sent to the front and large, dangerous debts owed to the Tsar of imperial Russia, of late-night visits by coach to the palace of the Romanovs to beg for mercy and avoid execution . . . and at the heart of the stories, told through the long nights with no dawn in sight, the strange, electrifying tale of a pact made in desperation with the private adviser to the Tsar and Tsarina--the mystic faith healer Grigory Rasputin (Russian for "debauched one"), a pact of "companionship" between Anna (the Rat) and the scheming Siberian peasant-turned-holy man, called the Devil by some, the self-proclaimed "only true Christ," meeting night after night in Rasputin's apartments, and the spellbinding, unspeakable things done there in the name of penance and pleasure . . .
Also in this Series
More Like This
More Details
ISBN:
9780385353960
9780385353977
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 6dac74f3-699d-64a6-9b2c-94fef4e40f4a
Grouping Title unspeakable things
Grouping Author spivack kathleen
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-08-16 22:54:34PM
Last Indexed 2018-08-17 00:16:59AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Spivack, Kathleen,
author_display Spivack, Kathleen
available_at_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Main Library - Adult Fiction
display_description "A strange, haunting, exhilarating debut novel about survival and love in all its forms: about sexual awakenings and dark secrets, about European refugee intellectuals who've fled Hitler's armies with dreams intact and who have come to an elusive new (American) "can-do, will-do" world they cannot seem to find. A novel steeped in surreal storytelling and beautiful music that transports its half-broken souls--and us--to another realm of the senses. From the much-admired, award-winning poet, author of Flying Inland and With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz, and Others. The setting: New York, the early 1940s, with the spectre of a red-hot Europe at war. At the center of Kathleen Spivack's Unspeakable Things: Anna (known as the Rat), an exotic Hungarian countess with the face of an angel, beautiful eyes and a seraphic smile, with a passionate intelligence, an exquisite ugliness, and the power to enchant... her second cousin Herbert, a former minor Austrian civil servant who believes in Esperanto and the international rights of man, a wheeler-dealer in New York, powerful in the social sphere, yet under the thumb of his wife, Adeline... Michael, their missing homosexual son...Felix, a German pediatrician who dabbles in genetic engineering... the Tolstoi String Quartet, four men and their instruments, who for twenty years lived as one, playing the great concert halls of Europe, for whom music is their life; escaping to New York from Bremerhaven, smuggled out on a German submarine, their money sewn into the red silk linings of their instrument cases... And watching them all, Herbert's eight-year-old granddaughter, Maria, witnessing the family's strange comings and goings, being regaled at night when most are asleep with the intoxicating, thrilling stories of their secret pasts...of lives lived in St. Petersburg... of husbands being sent to the front and large, dangerous debts owed to the tsar of imperial Russia, and of a strange pact made in desperation between the Rat and the mystic faith healer Grigori Rasputin, their meeting night after night in Rasputin's apartments, and the spell-binding, unspeakable things done there in the name of penance and pleasure.."--
format_catalog Book, eBook
format_category_catalog Books, eBook
id 6dac74f3-699d-64a6-9b2c-94fef4e40f4a
isbn 9780385353960, 9780385353977
item_details ils:CARL0000477028|35192048283661|Main Library - Adult Fiction|Fiction Spivack|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf||MN||, ils:CARL0000477028|SE00001359|Cane Ridge High - Teen Fiction|F SPI|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf||61182||, overdrive:e9839ed1-0599-4ff5-9c73-7a665f16499e|-1|Online OverDrive Collection|Online OverDrive|eBook|eBook|1|false|true|OverDrive|||Adobe EPUB eBook,Kindle Book,OverDrive Read|Available Online||||
itype_catalog , Book
last_indexed 2018-08-17T05:16:59.19Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Fiction
literary_form_full Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog Fiction Spivack
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9780385353960
publishDate 2015, 2016
record_details ils:CARL0000477028|Book|Books|First edition.|English|Alfred A. Knopf,|2015.|290 pages ; 22 cm., overdrive:e9839ed1-0599-4ff5-9c73-7a665f16499e|eBook|eBook||English|Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|2016|
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_catalog
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
overdrive:e9839ed1-0599-4ff5-9c73-7a665f16499e -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
ils:CARL0000477028 35192048283661 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
subject_facet Historical fiction, American, World War, 1939-1945 -- Refugees -- New York (State) -- New York -- Fiction, World War, 1939-1945 -- Social aspects -- Fiction
title_display Unspeakable things : a novel
title_full Unspeakable Things A Novel, Unspeakable things : a novel / Kathleen Spivack
title_short Unspeakable things :
title_sub a novel
topic_facet Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical fiction, American, Literature, Refugees, Social aspects, World War, 1939-1945