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book cover of Ideas of Heaven

Ideas of Heaven

(2004)
A Ring of Stories
A collection of stories by

 
 
Awards
National Book Award for Fiction Best Book (nominee)
"Joan Silber writes with wisdom, humor, grace, and wry intelligence. Her characters bear welcome news of how we will survive." - Andrea Barrett

Supple and precise, these stories cover lifetimes, much in the manner of Alice Munro and William Trevor. Set in France, Italy, New York, and China, in the past and present, they are about longings - about how sex and religion become parallel forms of dedication and comfort.

Though the stories stand alone, a minor element in one becomes major in the next. In "My Shape," a woman is taunted by her dance coach, who later suffers his own heartache. A Venetian poet of the 1500s, another storyteller, is introduced to a modern traveler reading Rilke. His story precedes a mesmerizing narrative of missionaries in China. In the final story, Giles, born to a priesthood family, leans toward Buddhism after a grievous loss, and in time falls in love with the dancer of the first story.

So deft and subtle is Joan Silber with these various perspectives that we come full circle surprised and enchanted by her myriad worlds.

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Used availability for Joan Silber's Ideas of Heaven

Hardback Editions

March 2004 : USA Hardback
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Title: Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories
Author(s): Joan Silber
ISBN: 0-393-05908-1 / 978-0-393-05908-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

May 2005 : USA Paperback
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Title: Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories
Author(s): Joan Silber
ISBN: 0-393-32687-X / 978-0-393-32687-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


1990 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: Ideas of Heaven
Author(s): Joan Silber
ISBN: 0-641-74148-0 / 978-0-641-74148-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

May 2005 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories
Author(s): Joan Silber
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA