Selected by the National Book Foundation for their first ever "5 Under 35" honor, Amity Gaige returns with an ambitious and luminous new novel.
Acclaimed for her exquisite prose and crystalline insights, Amity Gaige returns with The Folded World, the story of an idealistic young social worker drawn into the lives of his mentally ill clients. Charlie Shade was born into a quiet, prosperous life, but a sense of injustice dogs him. He feels destined to leave his life of "bread and laundry," to work instead with people in crisis. On his way, he meets his kindred spirit in Alice, a soulful young woman, living helplessly by laws of childhood superstition. Charlie's empathy with his clients—troubled souls like Hal, the high-school wrestling champion who undergoes a psychotic break, and Opal, the isolated young woman who claims "various philosophies have confused my life"—is both admirable and nearly fatal. An adoring husband and new father, Charlie risks his own cherished, private domestic world to help Hal, Opal, and others move beyond their haunted inner worlds into the larger world of love and connection.
A collision of extraordinary characters, The Folded World addresses the universal dilemma of love, wherein giving to another can seem like "the death of the world of oneself." With an unerring eye for both the joys and devastations of life, Amity Gaige once again reminds us of the pleasures and depths to be found in her fiction.
Brand: Other Press
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Folded World offers a sharp, sensitive portrait of a relationship that's completely specific and yet also universal. The protagonists are depicted as genuinely magical and flawed individuals, whose attraction and ongoing devotion feels true to life at every moment. Their responses to the inevitable disappointments, challenges, and shortfalls of human life are believable and touching, and their connections with other important characters offer glimpses of the many different ways we humans choose to live (or end up living if we refuse to choose). Gaige writes with authority and an incisive understanding of real people; her sentences are always lovely and often simply stunning.
Amazing! Worth reading for the eloquent prose writing alone. Starts wonderfully and just gets better. The final 10% of the book was so rich and fascinating I had to read it again. Parts of it reminded me of Marcel Proust. Amity Gaige is a great 21st century writer!
I have just started reading 'Schroder' and hope it compares well to this fascinating, optimistic and moving book.
Amity Gaige has a talent for marvelous descriptive paragraphs that grab you from the beginning. The story itself is insightful and has thoughtfully crafted characters. However, like so many current books and movies, good editing does not exist. The book bogs down 2/3rds of the way through. There is extensive fore-shadowing of consequences and when they finally occur, it's almost a relief.
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