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Three Graywolf Titles Longlisted for the National Book Awards: Abundance by Jakob Guanzon for Fiction, The Twilight Zone by Nona Fernández for Translated Literature, and The Wild Fox of Yemen by Threa Almontaser for Poetry

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Aurelia, Aurélia

A Memoir
Author 1
Kathryn Davis
Aurelia, Aurélia begins on a boat. The author, sixteen years old, is traveling to Europe at an age when one can “try on personae like dresses.” She has the confidence of a teenager cultivating her earliest obsessions—Woolf, Durrell, Bergman—sure of her maturity, sure of the life that awaits her. Soon she finds herself in a Greece far drearier than the Greece of fantasy, “climbing up and down the steep paths every morning with the real old women, looking for kindling.”
Kathryn Davis’s hypnotic new book is a meditation on the way imagination shapes life, and how life, as it moves forward, shapes imagination. At its center is the death of her husband, Eric. The book unfolds as a study of their marriage, its deep joys and stinging frustrations; it is also a book about time, the inexorable events that determine beginnings and endings. The preoccupations that mark Davis’s fiction are recognizable here—fateful voyages, an intense sense of place, the unexpected union of the magical and the real—but the vehicle itself is utterly new.
Aurelia, Aurélia explodes the conventional bounds of memoir. It is an astonishing accomplishment.

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5.5 x 8.25
An eerily dream-like memoir, and the first work of nonfiction by one of our most inventive novelists

About the Author

Kathryn  Davis
Credit: Anne Davis
Kathryn Davis is the author of eight novels, including The Silk Road and Duplex. She is the senior fiction writer on the faculty of the writing program at Washington University.
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  • “A beautiful, graceful, acutely intelligent memoir, sometimes sorrowful, sometimes quietly funny, but always wide awake to the strange wonder of being.”—Kevin Brockmeier
  • “As a fan of her novels, I knew what to expect from Kathryn Davis: the beautiful prose, the depth of thought, the originality, the wit. But I was not prepared to be as moved as I was reading her intensely poignant memoir. . . . Though much of it is heartbreaking, Aurelia, Aurélia made me rejoice.”—Sigrid Nunez

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