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The Book of Jonas
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An exceptional debut novel about a young Muslim war orphan whose family is killed in a military operation gone wrong, and the American soldier to whom his fate, and survival, is bound. Jonas is fifteen when his family is killed during an errant U.S. military operation in an unnamed Muslim country. With the help of an international relief organization, he is sent to America, where he struggles to assimilate-foster family, school, a first love. Eventually, he tells a court-mandated counselor and therapist about a U.S. soldier, Christopher Henderson, responsible for saving his life on the tragic night in question. Christopher's mother, Rose, has dedicated her life to finding out what really happened to her son, who disappeared after the raid in which Jonas' village was destroyed. When Jonas meets Rose, a shocking and painful secret gradually surfaces from the past, and builds to a shattering conclusion that haunts long after the final page. Told in spare, evocative prose, "The Book of Jonas" is about memory, about the terrible choices made during war, and about what happens when foreign disaster appears at our own doorstep. It is a rare and virtuosic novel from an exciting new writer to watch.
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About the Author

Stephen Dau is from Western Pennsylvania and lives in Brussels. He worked for ten years in post-war reconstruction and international development prior to studying creative writing, at Johns Hopkins University and Bennington, where he received an MFA. His work has appeared in "McSweeney's, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette," on MSNBC, and elsewhere. "The Book of Jonas" is his first novel.

Reviews

A "Kirkus Reviews ""Best of 2012" fiction selectionA "School Library Journal ""Best of 2012" Adult fiction for Teens selectionA Top-Ten favorite book of 2012 from Sam Sacks of "The Wall Street Journal "A "Booklist "Editor's Choice: Best Adult Books for Young Adults, 2012 "Dau sketches Jonas brilliantly, empathetically, writing with spare, clear language in the third person, a point of view encompassing the distance necessary for emotional clarity. Rich with symbolism, marvelously descriptive in language... Dau's novel offers deeply resonating truths about war and culture, about family and loss that only art can reveal. A literary tour de force." - "Kirkus Reviews "(starred) "A sobering and accomplished read meant to prick the conscience; highly recommended." - "Library Journal" "Intriguing characters reveal the effects of war on both victim and victimizer, and raise important questions about the emotional implications of modern warfare." - "Publishers Weekly" "The toll that war exacts has seldom been demonstrated more vividly in fiction than in this tale...With its spare prose and nuanced plot that loops back and forth chronologically, Dau's first novel is an absolutely compelling account of the damage done to all sides by armed conflict. An essential addition to the literature of war." - "Booklist" "Stephen Dau writes with remarkable precision, vitality and honesty." - Steven Galloway, author of "The Cellist of Sarajevo" "This is first rate, original, powerful storytelling." - Jean Thompson, National Book Award finalist and author of "The Year We Left Home" "This is an utterly riveting debut." - Marisa Silver, author of "The God of War" "The artfully crafted story zeroes in on those seconds when decisions are made, sometimes with terrifying consequences." - Kathleen Daley, "The Star Ledger "(New Jersey) "Dau does a beautiful job of creati

When Yoonis becomes the only survivor of a sketchy American military attack on his Muslim village, he is spared by Christopher, one of his attackers. Yoonis becomes Jonas when he is sent to America by a relief organization. Regrettably, changing his name and country doesn't alter the harrowing events of his past. As the story progresses, the listener must piece together what actually occurred and is left wondering who is victim and who is savior. Narrator Simon Vance brings the brittle and tremulous text into a heartbreaking, blooming presence. VERDICT Dau delivers a lean, searing, emblematic war story with tinctures of morality, forgiveness, and letting go. Recommended for fans of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. ["A sobering and accomplished read meant to prick the conscience," said the review of the Blue Rider hc, LJ 1/12.-Ed.]-Terry Ann Lawler, Phoenix P.L. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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