In the Wake

In the Wake

A Novel

Book - 2006
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Baker & Taylor
Following an accident that ended the lives of his family, a novelist struggles with survivor's guilt and writer's block while limiting his human contacts to a Kurdish neighbor and a woman he glimpses in a flat across the road.

McMillan Palgrave
"A profound novel. Masterfully written ... both timely and timeless. A beautifully enlightening treatise on grief and identity disguised as a novel. Highly recommended."---Library Journal

Per Petterson's masterful American debut novel is the story of a man whose life stands still after a terrible accident. Spanning an intense period of only a few weeks, In the Wake features 43 year-old Arvid, a writer who lost his parents and younger brothers in a ferry accident some years before. It is especially against his repressed memories--of his father and mother, and of his still-living brother--that Arvid must regard and define his own life.
As Arvid struggles with memories, existential questions, and a deep sense of the world's injustice, he remains overwhelmed by grief, and guilt at having survived. Work on his novel stalls as he moves through life in a cold haze. But while Arvid's only human contact is with his Kurdish neighbor and with a woman whom he glimpses in a flat across the road, it is this routine contact that begins to slowly remind him of the world---of the beauty and humor we can find in the mundane. As he is reminded, his memories begin to return, and he begins to write again.
Poignant, restrained, darkly funny, and at times unbearably moving, In the Wake takes on terrible tragedy as one man begins to reconnect with the natural world--at times our only source of solace when we've been left to survive in the wake.


Holtzbrinck
“A profound novel. Masterfully written ... both timely and timeless. A beautifully enlightening treatise on grief and identity disguised as a novel. Highly recommended.”---Library Journal

Per Petterson’s masterful American debut novel is the story of a man whose life stands still after a terrible accident. Spanning an intense period of only a few weeks, In the Wake features 43 year-old Arvid, a writer who lost his parents and younger brothers in a ferry accident some years before. It is especially against his repressed memories--of his father and mother, and of his still-living brother--that Arvid must regard and define his own life.
 
As Arvid struggles with memories, existential questions, and a deep sense of the world’s injustice, he remains overwhelmed by grief, and guilt at having survived. Work on his novel stalls as he moves through life in a cold haze. But while Arvid’s only human contact is with his Kurdish neighbor and with a woman whom he glimpses in a flat across the road, it is this routine contact that begins to slowly remind him of the world---of the beauty and humor we can find in the mundane. As he is reminded, his memories begin to return, and he begins to write again.
 
Poignant, restrained, darkly funny, and at times unbearably moving, In the Wake takes on terrible tragedy as one man begins to reconnect with the natural world--at times our only source of solace when we’ve been left to survive in the wake.


Blackwell North Amer
Per Petterson's American debut novel is the story of a man whose life stands still after a terrible accident. Spanning an intense period of only a few weeks, In the Wake features forty-year-old Arvid, a writer who lost his parents and younger brothers in a ferry accident some years before. It is especially against his repressed memories - of his father and mother, and of his still-living brother - that Arvid must regard and define his own life.
As Arvid struggles with memories, existential questions, and a deep sense of the world's injustice, he remains overwhelmed by grief, and guilt at having survived. Work on his novel stalls as he moves through life in a cold haze. But while Arvid's only human contact is with his Kurdish neighbor and with a woman whom he glimpses in a flat across the road, it is this routine contact that begins to slowly remind him of the world - of the beauty and humor we can find in the mundane. As he is reminded, his memories begin to return, and he begins to write again.

Baker
& Taylor

In the aftermath of a devastating accident that ended the lives of his family, a novelist struggles with overwhelming survivor's guilt and writer's block while limiting his human contacts to a Kurdish neighbor and a woman he glimpses in a flat across the road. 15,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2006
ISBN: 9780312343835
0312343833
Branch Call Number: FICTION PETTERSON
Characteristics: 202 p.
Additional Contributors: Born, Anne

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uncommonreader
Aug 02, 2012

A first book about grief, guilt and lonlieness. Not as good as his later books.

Glaschu Aug 30, 2008

A well written story ! I really wanted to see the main character and his brother succeed in making some sense of their emotions. Loved the dream sequences.

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