Ideas of Heaven by Joan Silber
A Ring of Stories

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



Shortlisted for the National Book Award: "Joan Silber writes with wisdom, humor, grace, and wry intelligence. Her characters bear welcome news of how we will survive."—Andrea Barrett

Intense in subject yet restrained in tone, these stories are about longings—often held for years—and the ways in which sex and religion can become parallel forms of dedication and comfort. Though the stories stand alone, a minor element in one becomes major in the next. In "My Shape", a woman is taunted by her dance coach, who later suffers his own heartache. A Venetian poet of the 1500s, another storyteller, is introduced to a modern traveler reading Rilke. His story precedes a mesmerizing narrative of missionaries in China. In the final story, Giles, born to a priesthood family, leans toward Buddhism after a grievous loss, and in time falls in love with the dancer of the first story. So deft and subtle is Joan Silber with these various perspectives that we come full circle surprised and enchanted by her myriad worlds. National Book Award finalist. Reading group guide included.

About Joan Silber

See more books from this Author
Joan Silber is the author of six previous works of fiction. Among many awards and honors, she has won a PEN/Hemingway Award and has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York City.
Published May 17, 2005 by W. W. Norton & Company. 251 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ideas of Heaven

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

“The High Road” first takes up the life of Duncan Fischbach when he falls in love with Andre, then revisits him when he’s old: having given up on the whole idea, he falls passionately, and chastely in love with Carl, a young singer performing the work of Italian poet Gaspara Stampa.

| Read Full Review of Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of St...

Entertainment Weekly

In her exquisite new book, Silber captures whole lifetimes in radiant, loosely linked first-person narratives.

Apr 23 2004 | Read Full Review of Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of St...

Reader Rating for Ideas of Heaven

An aggregated and normalized score based on 22 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review