Sibylla, a single mother from a long line of frustrated talents, has unusual ideas about child rearing. Yo Yo Ma started piano at the age of two; her son starts at three. J.S.Mill learned Greek at three; Ludo starts at four, reading Homer as they travel round and round the Circle Line. A fatherless boy needs male role models; so she plays the film of Seven Samurai as a running backdrop to his childhood. While Sibylla types out back copies of Carpworld to pay the rent, Ludo, aged five, moves on the Hebrew, Arabic and Japanese, aerodynamics and edible insects of the world - they might come in handy, if he can just persuade his mother he's mature enough to know his father's name.He is bound for knowledge of a less manageable sort, not least about his mother's past. And at the heart of the book is the boy's changing relationship with Sibylla - contradictory, touching and tender
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"Her style is brilliantly heartless, and cork-dry; original herself, she is a witty examiner of human and cultural eccentricity. She is, above all, playful... What grounds all DeWitt's brilliance and game-playing is the way that she dramatizes a certain kind of hyperintelligent rationalism and probes its irregular distribution of blindness and insight...a wonderfully funny book, but comedy dances near the abyss; the apprehension of humor's frailty links DeWitt to the tragicomic tradition of Cervantes, Sterne, and Nabokov" -- James Wood * New Yorker * "Fiercely intelligent, very funny and unlike anything else I've ever read" -- Mark Haddon "A triumph - a genuinely new story, a genuinely new form" -- A. S. Byatt "A bold, brilliant book...original both in content and form... DeWitt's zeal cannot fail to enchant" * Guardian * "An exhilaratingly literate and playful first novel by a fresh, electrifying talent. DeWitt goes to the top of the class...her adventurousness spins out on an epic scale" * New York Times *
About Helen DeWitt
Helen DeWitt was born in Maryland, grew up in South America and now lives in Derbyshire. This is her first novel.
The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt
Used - Very Good
Short-listed for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2002 Short-listed for IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2002
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.