Cover image for Mr. Gwyn & Three times at dawn
Title:
Mr. Gwyn & Three times at dawn
Author:
Baricco, Alessandro, 1958- , author.
Uniform Title:
Mr. Gwyn. English
Publication Information:
San Francisco : McSweeney's, [2014]
Physical Description:
258 pages ; 21 cm
Summary:
"After celebrated author Jasper Gwyn suddenly and publicly announces that he will never write another book, he embarks on a strange new career path as a "copyist, " holding thirty-day sittings in a meticulously appointed room and producing, at the end, brief but profoundly rich portraits in prose. The surprising, beautiful, and even frightening results are received with rapture by their subjects--among them Gwyn's devoted assistant, Rebecca; a beautiful fabric importer; a landscape painter; Gwyn's own literary agent; two wealthy newlyweds; a tailor to the Queen; and a very dangerous nineteen-year-old."--Page 4 of cover.
Language:
English
Contents:
Mr. Gwyn -- Three times at dawn.
Added Title:
Mr. Gwyn.

Three times at dawn.
ISBN:
9781938073960
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Library
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

After celebrated author Jasper Gwyn suddenly and publicly announces that he will never write another book, he embarks on a strange new career path as a "copyist," holding thirty-day sittings in a meticulously appointed room and producing, at the end, brief but profoundly rich portraits in prose. The surprising, beautiful, and even frightening results are received with rapture by their subjects--among them Gwyn's devoted assistant, Rebecca; a beautiful fabric importer; alandscape painter; Gwyn's own literary agent; two wealthy newlyweds; a tailor to the Queen; and a very dangerous nineteen-year-old.

Then Gwyn disappears, leaving behind only a short note to his assistant--and the portraits. As Rebecca studies his words, she realizes that the mystery is larger than the simple fact of Gwyn's whereabouts, and she begins to unravel a lifetime's worth of clues left by a man who saw so much but said so little, a man whose solitude masked a heart as hungry as hers.


Author Notes

Alessandro Baricco is an Italian writer, director, and performer. He has won the Prix Medicis √Čtranger in France and the Selezione Campiello, Viareggio, and Palazzo al Bosco prizes in Italy. Ann Goldstein is an editor at The New Yorker. She has translated three novels by Elena Ferrante- The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, The Lost Daughter-Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio, The Chill by Romano Bilenchi, The Father and the Stranger by Giancarlo de Cataldo, and The Worst Intentions by Alessandro Piperno. Her translation of Linda Ferri's Cecilia is forthcoming in May 2010. She received a PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award and was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome. She is currently editing the complete works of Primo Levi, for which she received a Guggenheim Translation fellowship. She lives in New York.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

When readers enter the airy and dreamlike prose of Mr. Gwyn, they feel as though they are wandering through corridors where they have never been before, yet not for a moment do they lose confidence in the hand directing them. With a slice of surrealism, Baricco's tenth novel takes us into the life of Jasper Gwyn, an English novelist who mysteriously gives up his art in pursuit of the noble career of copyist. However, instead of manuscripts and manuals, he copies people, making written portraits after a month of nearly silent observation in a room expansive as it is bare. The second part of the novel is an extension of these portraits: two strangers encounter each other three times in the same hotel. However, while in one scene the characters are about the same age, in the next, they are two generations apart, meeting again as strangers. Baricco's characters enter worlds of the off-kilter realities and existential loneliness similar to Kafka's, yet here, despite the novel's distance and space, we can almost reach out and feel them. The work is a blended balance of satisfying resolve and loose ends that wander off the borders of the page, and recommended to anyone interested in fresh similes, comforting strangeness, and the confusion that clouds the human heart.--McLaughlin, Tim Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

A prolific European master often compared to Italo Calvino, Baricco is still best known in the States for the cult classic Silk-but that should change with this enigmatic novel, which offers genial weirdness unparalleled this side of Haruki Murakami. Posing as a pair of novellas, the book centers on Jasper Gwyn, an acclaimed author who, to his agent's despair, has cheerfully given up his career. But Gwyn soon finds a new vocation as a "copyist," writing, rather than painting, portraits of high-end clients. Gwyn pursues his quest for realism from a run-down studio, helped by a carefully arranged array of lightbulbs, a 72-hour sound loop, and his devoted assistant Rebecca, to whom the story shifts after her employer vanishes amid a scandal. Years later, Rebecca comes to suspect that Gwyn the copyist might have been up to something even stranger than written portraiture. The nature of Gwyn's secret lies in the book's novel-within-a-novel, "Three Times At Dawn," about the mysterious and seductive Malcolm Webster, whose life's central events all transpire in hotel lobbies. Taken as one novel, the two sections make for a charming call-and-response meditation on how art connects the few brave enough to forget themselves. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.