Bright and Distant Shores
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Bright and Distant Shores

3.69 (790 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos comes a sweeping historical novel set amid the skyscrapers of 1890s Chicago and the far-flung islands of the South Pacific.

In the waning years of the nineteenth century there was a hunger for tribal artifacts, spawning collecting voyages from museums and collectors around the globe. In 1897, one such collector, a Chicago insurance magnate, sponsors an expedition into the South Seas to commemorate the completion of his company's new skyscraper--the world's tallest building. The ship is to bring back an array of Melanesian weaponry and handicrafts, but also several natives related by blood.

Caught up in this scheme are two orphans--Owen Graves, an itinerant trader from Chicago's South Side who has recently proposed to the girl he must leave behind, and Argus Niu, a mission houseboy in the New Hebrides who longs to be reunited with his sister. At the cusp of the twentieth century, the expedition forces a collision course between the tribal and the civilized, between two young men plagued by their respective and haunting pasts.

An epic and ambitious story that brings to mind E.L. Doctorow, with echoes of Melville and Robert Louis Stevenson, Bright and Distant Shores is a wondrous achievement by a writer known for creating compelling fiction from the fabric of history.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 130 x 208 x 33mm | 431g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Original
  • 1439198861
  • 9781439198865
  • 364,508

Review quote

"Written with extraordinary literary grace, Smith's third novel gleams as a gem of evocative historical fiction.... Beautifully researched and ripe with symbolism--an enthralling narrative peopled by characters both exotic and real." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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About Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith grew up in Sydney, Australia and now lives in Austin, Texas. He holds an MFA in writing from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly.

His awards include the Dobie Paisano Fellowship from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Prize, and the Gulf Coast Fiction Prize. In 2006, his debut novel The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre received the Steven Turner Prize for First Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters.

Dominic serves on the fiction faculty in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and has taught recently at the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University. Find out more at www.dominicsmith.net.
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Rating details

790 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 20% (160)
4 42% (332)
3 27% (212)
2 8% (64)
1 3% (22)
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