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Grace

A Novel

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Paperback published by Ballantine Books (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
Justin Peters is a Harvard-educated professor of British and classic literature who reads Shakespeare to his four-year-old daughter, Giselle. A native of Trinidad and the product of a strict, English-style education, Justin and his focus on the works of “Dead White Men” receive little professional respect at the public Brooklyn college where he teaches. But whatever troubles he might have at work are eclipsed when he realizes his wife, Sally, has begun to pull away from him, both physically and emotionally.

Harlem-born Sally Peters, a mother on the verge of turning forty, is a primary school teacher who believes that joy is a learned skill, and that it takes strength to be happy. After a life of tragic losses, Sally thought she had finally found that strength when she met Justin.

But now, Sally wants something more. And Justin is angered by her uncertainty about their life and frightened by the thought that perhaps Sally never stopped loving the ex-boyfriend for whom she wrote fierce poems. Is he, Justin wonders, responsible for helping Sally find meaning in her life—a life that seems to him most fortunate? If Sally and Justin’s union is to survive, both must face the crippling echoes of their own pasts before those memories forever cloud and alter their future.

Set in a snow-covered Brooklyn, Grace is a thoughtful and lovely meditation on trust, redemption, and family. Elizabeth Nunez’s delicate prose brings the struggles, aches, and tender moments of this contemporary urban love story into vivid focus.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Justin Peters is a Harvard-educated professor of British and classic literature who reads Shakespeare to his four-year-old daughter, Giselle. A native of Trinidad and the product of a strict, English-style education, Justin and his focus on the works of “Dead White Men” receive little professional respect at the public Brooklyn college where he teaches. But whatever troubles he might have at work are eclipsed when he realizes his wife, Sally, has begun to pull away from him, both physically and emotionally.

Harlem-born Sally Peters, a mother on the verge of turning forty, is a primary school teacher who believes that joy is a learned skill, and that it takes strength to be happy. After a life of tragic losses, Sally thought she had finally found that strength when she met Justin.

But now, Sally wants something more. And Justin is angered by her uncertainty about their life and frightened by the thought that perhaps Sally never stopped loving the ex-boyfriend for whom she wrote fierce poems. Is he, Justin wonders, responsible for helping Sally find meaning in her life—a life that seems to him most fortunate? If Sally and Justin’s union is to survive, both must face the crippling echoes of their own pasts before those memories forever cloud and alter their future.

Set in a snow-covered Brooklyn, Grace is a thoughtful and lovely meditation on trust, redemption, and family. Elizabeth Nunez’s delicate prose brings the struggles, aches, and tender moments of this contemporary urban love story into vivid focus.


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Paperback (352 pages)
Published: February 28, 2006
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345455345
Other books byElizabeth Nunez
  • Prospero's Daughter

    Prospero's Daughter
    A Novel
    A spellbinding new novel from acclaimed author Elizabeth Nunez, Prospero’s Daughter is a brilliantly conceived retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest set on a lush Caribbean island during the height of tensions between the native population and British colonists. Addressing questions of race, class, and power, it is first and foremost the story of a boy and a girl who come of age and violate the ultimate taboo. Cut off from the main island of Trinidad by a glistening green sea, Chacachacare has few inhabitants besides its colony of lepers and a British doctor who fled England with his three-year-old daughter, Virginia. An amoral genius, Peter Gardner had used his talents to unsavory ends, experimenting, often with fatal results, on unsuspecting patients. Blackmailed by his own brother, Peter ends up on the small island as England’s empire is starting to crumble. On Chacachacare, Peter experiments chiefly on the wild Caribbean flora–and on the dark-skinned orphan Carlos, whose home he steals. Though Peter considers the boy no better than a savage, he nonetheless schools the child alongside his daughter. But as Carlos and Virginia grow up under the same roof, they become deeply and covertly attached to one another. When Peter discovers the pair’s secret and accuses Carlos of a heinous crime, it is up to a brusque, insensitive English inspector to discover the truth. During his investigation, a disturbing picture begins to emerge as a monstrous secret is finally drawn into the light. From the Hardcover edition.

    Discretion

    Discretion
    From American Book Award-winning author Elizabeth Nunez, a powerful novel that explores an intricate lovers’ triangle, the human thirst for passion, and the myriad ways desire can betray those who have fallen under its spell. Descended from warriors and raised by missionaries, Oufoula is a diplomat whose wealth and charm make him both publicly admired and envied. From a tragic childhood he emerged a man who leads a disciplined life of respect, married to Nerida, a woman he did not want to deceive. But the beautiful Marguerite, a Jamaican-born artist living in New York, makes him question what ideals he can live by, and which values he can betray. For twenty years, Oufoula has carried a secret in his heart, a secret of his love for Marguerite. Though they have been separated for two decades by Marguerite’s call for propriety, Oufoula refuses to let his desire wane. When the lovers are at last reunited, the rekindling of their passion forces Oufoula to come to terms with the core of his character: Is he willing to sacrifice his marriage, his career, and the very foundations of the life he has struggled to create, all for the love of one woman? Oufoula’s confession is adorned with the literature of his European education, and shrouded by the spirits and responsibilities of Africa. Caught between myth and reason, Oufoula reveals himself to be a soul trapped in every way, who, like Faust, would bargain with the devil for fulfillment . . . but was never offered any choice. This is the portrait of a man who cannot be forgotten. A gripping, masterfully crafted tale of love, deceit, and the human compulsion for power, Discretion forces us to reconsider that ever-compelling question: At what price passion? From the Hardcover edition.

    Anna In-Between

    Anna In-Between
    "A psychologically and emotionally astute family portrait, with dark themes like racism, cancer and the bittersweet longing of the immigrant." --New York Times Book Review (Editors Choice) "Nunez has created a moving and insightful character study while delving into the complexities of identity politics. Highly recommended." --Library Journal (*starred review*) "Nunez deftly explores family strife and immigrant identity in her vivid latest . . . with expressive prose and convincing characters that immediately hook the reader." --Publishers Weekly (*starred review*) "Nunez offers an intimate portrait of the unknowable secrets and indelible ties that bind husbands and wives, mothers and daughters." --Booklist "The award-winning author of Prospero's Daughter has written a novel more intimate than her usual big-picture work; this moving exploration of immigrant identity has a protagonist caught between race, class and a mothers love." --Ms. Magazine "Probing and lyrical, this fantastic novel is one of Nunez's best yet." --Edwidge Danticat ANNA IN-BETWEEN is Elizabeth Nunez's finest literary achievement to date. In spare prose, with laserlike attention to every word and the juxtaposition of words to each other, Nunez returns to her themes of emotional alienation, within the context of class and color discrimination, so richly developed in her earlier novels. Anna, the novel's main character, who has a successful publishing career in the U.S., is the daughter of an upper-class Caribbean family. While on vacation in the island home of her birth she discovers that her mother, Beatrice, has breast cancer. Beatrice categorically rejects all efforts to persuade her to go to the U.S. for treatment, even though it is, perhaps, her only chance of survival. Elizabeth Nunez is an award-winning author of seven novels. She is a distinguished professor at Hunter College, CUNY, and divides her time between Amityville, New York, and Brooklyn.

    Boundaries

    Boundaries
    "Boundaries is told in spare and transcendent prose. [...] As always, Nunez delivers a unique and riveting perspective on Caribbean life as well as immigrant life in general." --The New York Amsterdam News "Many moments of elegant, overarching insight bind the personal to the collective past." --New York Times Book Review "If I wore a hat, I'd tip it to novelist Elizabeth Nunez . . . with Boundaries, her eighth work, the storyteller is in fine form . . . [it] is timely and provocative -- and it's written with such vivid prose that, despite the bittersweet ending, you'll step away from this refreshing take on contemporary publishing with a smile." --Essence "In Nunez's latest, the author further explores immigrant life, a life where a hard-working woman can progress up the corporate ladder, buy an apartment in a soon-to-be trendy neighborhood, and still be plagued by outsider’s angst . . . A thoughtful literary novel exploring the shadows of cultural identity and the mirage of assimilation." --Kirkus Reviews "A quiet, sensitive portrait. . . This work covers a lot of ground, from mother-daughter and male-female relationships to the tensions between immigrants and the American born." --Library Journal "Nunez deftly dissects the immigrant experience in light of cultural traditions that impact family roles, professional obligations, and romantic opportunities." --Booklist "Elizabeth Nunez is one of the finest and most necessary voices in contemporary American and Caribbean fiction." --Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin In an age of reality TV, a husband and wife cling to Victorian notions of privacy, though doing so threatens the life of the wife. Their daughter Anna yearns for her mother's unguarded affection, and eventually learns there is value in restraint. But Anna, a Caribbean American immigrant, finds that lesson harder to accept when, eager to assimilate in her new country, she discovers that a gap yawns between her and American-born citizens. THE HEAD OF A SPECIALIZED IMPRINT at a major publishing house, Anna is soon challenged for her position by an ambitious upstart who accuses her of not really understanding American culture, particularly African American culture. Her job at stake, Anna turns for advice to her boyfriend Paul, a Caribbean American himself, who attempts to convince her that immigrants must accept limitations on their freedom in America. TOLD IN SPARE AND TRANSCENDENT PROSE, Boundaries is a riveting immigrant story, a fascinating look into the world of contemporary book publishing, a beautiful extension of the exploration of family dynamics that began in Nunez's previous novel Anna In-Between, and a heart-warming love story.

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