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Book Title

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, and Aurelia, Aurélia, a memoir. She is the senior fiction writer on the faculty of the writing program at Washington University.
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  • “[Aurelia, Aurélia is] like one of those remote places populated by landrace flora and fauna that exist nowhere else on earth. . . . [Kathryn Davis] has written a memoir that mimics the atemporal quality of the episodes that give meaning to life. Aurelia, Aurélia doesn’t care for the constraints of melody, but is nonetheless an entrancing song.”—Molly Young, The New York Times 
  • “A glimmering memoir like none you’ve ever read. . . . Davis’ novels have often featured wanderers and seekers, allegories of self-exile and scenes evicted from the tangible world. This tendency to sidestep reality has allowed her to successfully transcend the conventional let-me-tell-you style of memoir in favor of something rarer, more ethereal.”—Leslie Pariseau, Los Angeles Times 
  • “A work of great originality. . . . Every inimitable story must leave in the mind of the reader an intangible residuum of pleasure, even unsettling pleasure, or haunting pleasure; such a story has to have joy and sadness that at times may seem the same thing; it has to have, to paraphrase an idyll of Theocritus, shades of light and darkness moving over a field. Davis’ memoir has all of the above. The virtuoso writing in Aurelia, Aurélia is a reprieve from all ghastly things.”—Howard Norman, Lit Hub
  • “[An] exquisite, lightning-bolt bright, zigzagging, and striking musing on the self, life, death.”—Donna Seaman, Booklist 
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