A Notable Book of 2010 in the New York Times.
Top 10 Fiction and Literature at Amazon.
Winner of 2010 The Story Prize.
Winner of a 2011 Pacific Northwest Book Award.
A Top 12 Book of 2010 at the Boston Globe.
A San Francisco Chronicle Book of the Year.
Featuring four new short stories and two big novellas, Anthony’s newest book takes place on four continents and addresses issues from Alzheimer’s in South Africa to infertility in Wyoming to fishing for endangered sturgeon in Lithuania. The title novella won the National Magazine Award for Fiction, the second story has been called “a masterpiece of observed detail and intuitive poetic sense, like DeLillo at his best,” the fourth story won an O. Henry Prize, and the fifth story won a 2011 Pushcart Prize. Can a short story collection take you to more places and introduce you to more people than a novel?
Strange and beautiful… Doerr writes about the big questions, the imponderables, the major metaphysical dreads, and he does it fearlessly. -New York Times Book Review
Signals his arrival as an important American voice. -Boston Globe
Crazy good. -The Oregonian
Doerr has set a new standard, I think, for what a story can do. -Dave Eggers
Doerr both lingers wonderfully over the details of individual lives and suggests the enormity of those billion things contained therein – mysterious, mournful and lovely as they are, and as we remember them. -San Francisco Chronicle
Doerr’s fantastic new stories build on the reputation he established in 2001 with “The Shell Collector. -The Plain Dealer
Doerr is a lusciously good stylist. -The Guardian
A small classic of contemporary literature. -National Post
Doerr’s voice has no limits. -The Millions
Doerr does an excellent job of balancing these intentions, creating work that is open-ended yet nuanced, avoiding false connections or epiphanies. -LA Times
Memory Wall, with its great narrative distances and the richness of its imagination, allows us a farther vision. -Orion
A brilliant exploration of the subject of memory and confirms his status as one of our most talented practitioners of the short form. -Shelf-Awareness
Doerr is daring, yes, and compassionate, but more than anything, the four stories and two novellas in this collection are imbued with, and fueled by, a deep, almost anachronistic-seeming respect for his twin muses: memory and the natural world. -The Rumpus
It only takes a few sentences into his fascinating new collection to understand why he’s so acclaimed. -New West
A breathtaking book, not only for the range of stories it tells and the near-perfect writing, but for its ability to capture memories and how we spend our entire adult lives reliving them -The Atlantic’s Daily Dish
When I finished the last page of Anthony Doerr’s Memory Wall, I sat stunned and blinking, unable to leave the strange and vivid and utterly believable world he’d created. Read this book-it will change how you think about memory, time, love, and the way we record and try to keep the things we can’t live without. -Maile Meloy author of Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It
Everywhere in Tony Doerr’s work, there’s light and stone and unimaginable distance, while our hearts go on about their steady work. His subject is what we would hear on the most macrocosmic and intimate levels, if only we were to listen more closely. I love Memory Wall for the empathetic reach of its imagination, for the intelligence of its meditation on the consolations of memory, and especially for the tenderness and care with which it presents the ongoing miracle of humanity’s daily interaction with the world. These are beautiful and moving stories. -Jim Shepard, author of Like You’d Understand, Anyway
Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World2008
Anthony Doerr found himself in the perfect Eternal City with the eternal Paternal Problem: how to care for two beautiful newborn twins while still doing his work as a writer and student and observer. The result is a funny, precise, touching account of cultural barricades crossed and fatherly exhaustions overcome; a story of the universalities of parenting and the specificities of Roman life, that will lift the heart of every parent and delight the mind of every lover of Italy. —Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon
On the same day Anthony Doerr’s wife gave birth to newborn twins, Doerr learned he’d won the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr’s subsequent year in the eternal city, reading Pliny, visits the piazzas, temples and churches of Rome, attending the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II, and raising twin babies. “To call this a travel book,” said Kirkus Reviews, “is to sell it short: it is delightful, funny and full of memorable scenes. Don’t leave for Rome without it.”
A beautiful paean to Rome, a passionately rendered love letter that will appeal to anyone interested in the Eternal City. —Boston Globe •• It’s a tribue to wonder itself. —The Oregonian •• This exquisite little book is filled with the pleasure of travel, the way in which the most ordinary activity can become new and fresh, even something so simple as buying bread, a rejuvenation of the spirit that becomes possible every day. —New Orleans Times-Picayune •• There are so many aphoristic jewels, so much poetry in here…—Richmond Times-Dispatch •• This is a wonderful book: it’s funny, insightful, tender, and wise. —Booksense •• That Doerr sees so acutely in our “astoundingly, intricately, breathtaking beautiful world” makes it all the more happy a thing that he creates, on the printed page, beauty of his own. —Bookslut •• This book, like a long trip through a warm Italian night, is richly rewarding and well worth the effort. —Seattle Times •• He describes characters on the street so vividly that we can believe we’ve met them ourselves, and he does it all with such humility that it is as if we were having a conversation with the guy next door. —Bookreporter.com •• The writer, who was born in Cleveland, does a wonderful and often hilarious job at conveying the feeling of helplessness that goes with traveling with young children, of needing a diaper in a country where you don’t know the word for diaper. —Cleveland Plain Dealer •• A thoughtful meditation on seeing, and the necessity of breaking habits in order to perceive the world clearly. —San Francisco Chronicle •• A passionate reflection about learning to see that celebrates both the foreign and familiar. —Entertainment Weekly •• The descriptions of the eternal city are both exact and loving, and the love is contagious. —The New York Observer •• The memoir is full of… rewarding passages, and anyone with fond memories of Rome will want to savor it slowly. —Publisher’s Weekly
To say this book is beautiful, extraordinary or moving is futile. In comparison with Anthony Doerr’s word-perfect prose, any description of his first novel seems trite. Just buy ‘About Grace,’ call in sick, switch off the phone and see for yourself how good contemporary fiction can be. —The Guardian
Doerr’s second book, a novel entitled About Grace, is about a hydrologist named David Winkler who occasionally dreams events that later come true. The book tries to ask questions about snowflakes, predetermination, the nature of family, and the intersections of the human and natural worlds. It takes place in Alaska, the Caribbean, Ohio, and plenty of places in between. About Grace was a Book Sense76 selection, a Washington Post Bookworld Book of the Year, and a finalist for the PEN USA Fiction Award. The Book of-the-Month Club picked it as one of the five best books of 2004, and it topped the Seattle-Post Intelligencer’s best of 2004 list.
Doerr has crafted an immensely compelling story, one I’d be inclined to call a page-turner if his prose weren’t so arresting… And he’s able to discourse fluidly on scientific issues important to Winkler’s character in a way that not only avoids bogging down the narrative, but positively enriches it. Same goes for the more ponderous passages that deal with Nietzschean notions of eternal recurrence or rifts in space/time more commonly encountered in Stephen Hawking’s work than that of a novelist. ‘About Grace’ is a rare novel that succeeds at being smart without being pretentious; that revels in symbolism without being heavy handed; that uplifts without being sentimental.—The Daily Republic
Doerr traverses again the territory he had marked out in the stories of his lucent first book, the short-story collection ‘The Shell Collector’: a rapture with nature expressed in prose that sings off the page; an infinitely subtle algebra of resonance and sympathy between minds, lives, objects, light, senses, weather; the majestic indifference of nature; the proper measure of man against natural forces. Doerr has a compulsion for observation and a passion for nature that borders on the religious.—The New York Times
Doerr writes with elegiac beauty about human frailty and the power of nature, weaving complex metaphors into a literary carpet of dazzling numinosity… I can’t remember when a novel so entranced me. The only criticism I can muster is that About Grace is almost inhumanly faultless.—London Evening Standard
A formidable literary achievement… near perfect—The Independent
The Shell Collector2003
Stunning. Eight stunning exercises in steel-tipped feathery fineness that no writer can read without envying… His is the all-knowing, all-seeing eye we find in D.H. Lawrence, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Pynchon, DeLillo, Richard Powers—writers able to pin down every butterfly wing and fleck of matter in the universe, yet willing to float the unanswerables about the ‘hot, hard kernel of human experience.’—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“If you have stopped reading short stories because they have turned pretentious, silly or meaningless,” began Nancy Connors’ review in the Plain Dealer, “The Shell Collector is good reason to come back to this most American of forms.” The Boston Globe said the stories in the collection “don’t so much blur or diminish our place in the scheme of things as they blow open one’s perspective,” the LA Times declared it a “show-stopping debut,” and Library Journal called it a “tour-de-force of letters.”
In Doerr’s first book, a collection of eight stories, he takes readers from Kenya to Montana to Liberia to Maine. “Nature, in these stories,” said Publisher’s Weekly, “is mysterious and deadly, a wonder of design and of nearly overwhelming power.” The book, winner of the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, was a New York Times and Publishers’ Weekly Notable Book of 2002. The American Library Association named it an oustanding book of 2003, and Kirkus listed it in its top ten “undersung but richly deserving titles.” It also won the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award and the Ohioana Book Award for fiction. Stories from this collection have appeared in both the O. Henry Prize Stories, and the Best American Short Stories.
For those readers who are curious to learn more about cone snails, you can start by watching this silly video.
Doerr’s prose dazzles, his sinewy sentences blending the naturalist’s unswerving gaze with the poet’s gift for metaphor.—The New York Times