The Largesse of the Sea Maiden
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The Largesse of the Sea Maiden : Stories

4.2 (777 ratings by Goodreads)
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Twenty-five years after Jesus' Son, a haunting new collection of short stories on mortality and transcendence, from National Book Award winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Denis Johnson The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. Written in the luminous prose that made him one of the most beloved and important writers of his generation, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating the ghosts of the past and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves. Finished shortly before Johnson's death, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come. Praise for The Largesse of the Sea Maiden "These four stories rank with Johnson's best work, but the title story, a catalogue of singular moments related by a man who tells us he's passing through life as if it were a masquerade, ranks with the best fiction published by any American writer during this short century."--New York Magazine "Most of these stories are terrific, and two--the first and the last--are out-of-this-world. I say this not out of deference to the recently deceased, but in awe. When Johnson wrote at reckless full force, his sentences and storylines blasted barriers, discovering those odd places where, as one of his narrators here says, 'the Mystery winks at you.' . . . The Largesse of The Sea Maiden contains the kind of work every writer would like to go out on: fresh, profound and singular. It affirms literature's promise to believers, the gift of eternal voice."--Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air, NPR "The book in front of us today is one for which many people have waited--as if outside, in the acid rain--a long time. It's the follow-up to Jesus' Son, perhaps the most influential and beloved book of American short stories of the past three decades. . . . The Largesse of the Sea Maiden picks up, to a large extent, where Jesus' Son left off . . . [with] prose vernacular and elevated at the same time. One can say about this book what one narrator says about the poems of a writer he loves: 'They were the real thing, line after line of the real thing.'"--The New York Times
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 145 x 213 x 23mm | 363g
  • RANDOM HOUSE
  • English
  • 0812988639
  • 9780812988635
  • 9,883

Review quote

"Denis Johnson's posthumous collection winks from beyond the grave. . . . Johnson told aspiring authors to write as if ink were blood, because it is precious. So are farewells like this. . . . It is a vital addition to Johnson's oeuvre."--Time "Johnson offers visions and sadness and laughter. But it's the sentences--those adamantine, poetic sentences--that made him one of America's great and lasting writers. It's the sentences that live on."--The Boston Globe "The secret of all this is the shifting wattage, the slipshod magnificence and crazy wonder of the Johnsonian sentence. Clause by clause, word by word, anything becomes plausible. . . . Whatever Johnson had gone through, however he expressed it on the page, it would all have been wasted had it not ended up being funny, because then a major percentage of wisdom would have been missing. . . . He led a certain life and found ways of giving expression to that life."--Geoff Dyer, The Guardian "We lost one of the great writers of his generation last year, but before his death, Denis Johnson finished off one final, brilliant short story collection. . . . Beautifully indicates Johnson's singular voice, the way he contemplated the past and edges toward the cosmic."--Entertainment Weekly

"These four stories rank with Johnson's best work, but the title story, a catalogue of singular moments related by a man who tells us he's passing through life as if it were a masquerade, ranks with the best fiction published by any American writer during this short century."--New York Magazine "Most of these stories are terrific, and two--the first and the last--are out-of-this-world. I say this not out of deference to the recently deceased, but in awe. When Johnson wrote at reckless full force, his sentences and storylines blasted barriers, discovering those odd places where, as one of his narrators here says, 'the Mystery winks at you.' . . . The Largesse of The Sea Maiden contains the kind of work every writer would like to go out on: fresh, profound and singular. It affirms literature's promise to believers, the gift of eternal voice."--Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air, NPR

Praise for Denis Johnson "Denis Johnson was the best American writer of the past twenty-five years."--New Republic "He was the kind of writer who comes along once in a generation, if that often: a true original, in the same league as Melville and Whitman."--n+1 "A true American artist . . . a revelator for this still new century."--The New York Times
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About Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson was the author of nine novels, one novella, two books of short stories, five collections of poetry, two collections of plays, and one book of reportage. Among other honors, his novel Tree of Smoke won the 2007 National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, and Train Dreams was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize.
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Rating details

777 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 44% (339)
4 38% (297)
3 14% (107)
2 3% (26)
1 1% (8)
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