Monday, March 26, 2007

Pg. 99: "The World to Come"

Dara Horn put her acclaimed novel The World to Come to the Page 99 Test.

About the novel, from the author's website:
A million-dollar painting by Marc Chagall is stolen from a museum during a singles' cocktail hour. The unlikely thief is Benjamin Ziskind, a lonely former child prodigy who writes questions for quiz shows and who is sure the painting used to hang on a wall of his parents' living room. As Ben tries to evade the police, he and his twin sister, Sara, seek out the truth of how the painting got to the museum, whether the "original" is actually a forgery, and whether Sara, an artist, can create a convincing forgery to take its place.

Eighty years prior, in the 1920's in Soviet Russia, Marc Chagall taught art to orphaned Jewish boys. There Chagall befriended the great Yiddish novelist known by the pseudonym "Der Nister," The Hidden One. And there, with the lives of these real artists, the story of the painting begins, carrying with it not only a hidden fable by the Hidden One but also the story of the Ziskind family -- from Russia to New Jersey and Vietnam.
Only a fraction of the praise for the novel:
"Nothing short of amazing."
--Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)

"Throughout this rich, complex and haunting novel, Horn reminds us that our world poses constant threats to the artist and to art, to the individual and the creative spirit. Their very survival is a miracle."
--New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)

"A deeply satisfying literary mystery and a funny-sad meditation on how the past haunts the present — and how we haunt the future."
--Time Magazine

"Isn't there a Willy Wonka gum that tastes like all good foods at once? If so, Dara Horn's "The World to Come" is the literary equivalent of that confection, equal parts mystery, sprawling novel, folktale, philosophical treatise, history, biography, love story and fabulist adventure ... each page of her novel is a marvel."
--San Francisco Chronicle (Editor's Recommendation)

"Captivating and startling ... miraculously, it stays aloft in the mind like a dream you can't decide was sweet or frightening."
--Washington Post
The World to Come is Dara Horn's second novel; her first, In the Image, is now available in paperback.

Visit Dara Horn's website and read the first chapter of The World to Come.

The Page 99 Test: The World to Come.

--Marshal Zeringue