Mary Coin by Marisa Silver

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Silver is an evocative, precise writer, and her story...takes readers deep into the callous realities of life during the Dirty '30s.
-NPR

Synopsis

Bestselling author Marisa Silver takes Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother photograph as inspiration for a story of two women—one famous and one forgotten—and their remarkable chance encounter.
 
In 1936, a young mother resting by the side of the road in central California is spontaneously photographed by a woman documenting migrant laborers in search of work. Few personal details are exchanged and neither woman has any way of knowing that they have produced one of the most iconic images of the Great Depression. In present day, Walker Dodge, a professor of cultural history, stumbles upon a family secret embedded in the now-famous picture. In luminous prose, Silver creates an extraordinary tale from a brief event in history and its repercussions throughout the decades that follow—a reminder that a great photograph captures the essence of a moment yet only scratches the surface of a life.
 

About Marisa Silver

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MARISA SILVER is the author of two novels, The God of War (a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist) and No Direction Home, and two story collections, Alone with You and Babe in Paradise. She lives in Los Angeles.
 
Published March 7, 2013 by Plume. 337 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Mary Coin
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Antoine Wilson on Apr 11 2013

Silver’s novel breathes new life into “Migrant Mother” by reminding us that it is only a photograph, a glance fixed in time, a blip compared with the lives behind it.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Heller McAlpin on Mar 07 2013

...a fresh angle on the Great Depression and a lesson in learning how to really look and see.

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NPR

Excellent
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Feb 28 2013

Silver is an evocative, precise writer, and her story...takes readers deep into the callous realities of life during the Dirty '30s.

Read Full Review of Mary Coin | See more reviews from NPR

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Norman Powers on Mar 07 2013

Ms. Silver’s broad themes of identity and survival are effortlessly woven into this involving story of three characters struggling to find their way through poverty, physical disability and destructive relationships.

Read Full Review of Mary Coin | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Reader Rating for Mary Coin
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Malinda Charter

Malinda Charter 22 Jul 2014

Added the book to custom list '2013 NPR'

Karen Russo

Karen Russo 5 Sep 2013

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