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    By Blood (Hardback) By (author) Ellen Ullman

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    DescriptionThe award-winning writer returns with a major, absorbing, atmospheric novel that takes on the most dramatic and profoundly personal subject matter San Francisco in the 1970s. Free love has given way to radical feminism, psychedelic ecstasy to hard-edged gloom. The Zodiac Killer stalks the streets. A disgraced professor takes an office in a downtown tower to plot his return. But the walls are thin and he's distracted by voices from next door--his neighbor is a psychologist, and one of her patients dislikes the hum of the white-noise machine. And so he begins to hear about the patient's troubles with her female lover, her conflicts with her adoptive, avowedly WASP family, and her quest to track down her birth mother. The professor is not just absorbed but enraptured. And the further he is pulled into the patient's recounting of her dramas--and the most profound questions of her own identity--the more he needs the story to move forward. The patient's questions about her birth family have led her to a Catholic charity that trafficked freshly baptized orphans out of Germany after World War II. But confronted with this new self-- "I have no idea what it means to say 'I'm a Jew'"--the patient finds her search stalled. Armed with the few details he's gleaned, the professor takes up the quest and quickly finds the patient's mother in records from a German displaced-persons camp. But he can't let on that he's been eavesdropping, so he mocks up a reply from an adoption agency the patient has contacted and drops it in the mail. Through the wall, he hears how his dear patient is energized by the news, and so is he. He unearths more clues and invests more and more in this secret, fraught, triangular relationship: himself, the patient, and her therapist, who is herself German. His research leads them deep into the history of displaced-persons camps, of postwar Zionism, and--most troubling of all--of the Nazi Lebensborn program. With ferocious intelligence and an enthralling, magnetic prose, Ellen Ullman weaves a dark and brilliant, intensely personal novel that feels as big and timeless as it is sharp and timely. It is an ambitious work that establishes her as a major writer.


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  • Full bibliographic data for By Blood

    Title
    By Blood
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Ellen Ullman
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 378
    Width: 155 mm
    Height: 231 mm
    Thickness: 33 mm
    Weight: 612 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780374117559
    ISBN 10: 0374117551
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: GEN
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: F1.1
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    BIC subject category V2: FA
    B&T General Subject: 360
    B&T Book Type: FI
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: FIC
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 11110
    DC21: 813.6
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: B5
    LC subject heading:
    Ingram Theme: TOPC/FAMILY
    Ingram Subject Code: FC
    Libri: I-FC
    DC22: 813/.6
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 74
    LC subject heading:
    Ingram Theme: RELI/JUDAIC
    BISAC V2.8: FIC045000
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Approval Code: P26100000
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Approval Code: A26845000
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BISAC V2.8: FIC046000
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: FIC019000
    LC classification: PS3621.L45 B9 2012
    BIC E4L: GNR
    Publisher
    Farrar Straus Giroux
    Imprint name
    Farrar Straus Giroux
    Publication date
    28 February 2012
    Publication City/Country
    New York, NY
    Author Information
    Ellen Ullman is the author of a novel, "The Bug," a "New York Times "Notable Book and runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the cult classic memoir "Close to the Machine," based on her years as a rare female computer programmer in the early years of the personal computer era. She lives in San Francisco.
    Review quote
    "Smart, slippery . . . Ullman arranges her players efficiently. But what astounds is how she binds them to one another . . . It's a narrative striptease. And Ullman has such fun with it." --Parul Sehgal, "The New York Times Book Review"" ""A thrilling page-turner of a book . . . Book clubs of America, take note. "By Blood" is what you should be reading. Ullman is someone we all should be reading." --Ed Siegel, "Newsday"" ""What is most distinctive about Ullman's voice . . . is the way it sounds fully formed, mature both intellectually and emotionally." --Jenny Davidson, "Slate ""Like analysis, ["By Blood"] has urgency--as if, by talking and talking, a solution will be found. Like history, it extends in all directions . . . Like the best novels, it's irresistible--twisty-turny, insightful, revelatory--funny when it's tragic, and complicated when it's funny." --Minna Proctor, NPR.org "A literary inquiry into identity and legacy . . . A gripping mystery . . . The storytelling is compelling and propulsive . . . Ullman is also a careful stylist." --Carolyn Kellogg, "The Los Angeles Times"" ""Rewarding . . . Deepy, lengthy and rewarding therapy is as close as most people get to reading their lives as a novel. Here is a novel that offers itself as a deepy, lengthy and rewarding version of a therapy. The memory of reading it remains quite intense." --Alan Cheuse, "The San Francisco Chronicle ""Marvelously creepy . . . A tricky thing to pull off but Ullman does it beautifully . . . ["By Blood"] speaks volumes about the way we think about the Jewish past." --Adam Kirsch, "Tablet ""A dark, brooding, and marvelous novel that doesn't really resemble anything else, though disparate elements of it remind me of so many stories I love. The book combines a disturbing confessional intensity, as in Coetzee's "Disgrace," Lasdun's "Horned Man," and Tartt's "The Secret History," with a paranoid claustrophobia akin to that of "The Conversation,"