News of the World by Paulette Jiles
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

“News of the World” is a narrow but exquisite book about the joys of freedom (experienced even by a raging river threatening to overrun its banks); the discovery of unexpected, proprietary love between two people who have never experienced anything like it...
-NY Times

Synopsis

National Book Award Finalist—Fiction

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.

 

About Paulette Jiles

See more books from this Author
An acclaimed poet, Paulette Jiles is the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the bestselling novels Enemy Women and Stormy Weather. She lives on a small ranch west of San Antonio, Texas.
 
Published October 4, 2016 by William Morrow. 224 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Westerns. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for News of the World
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by SUZANNE BERNE on Nov 07 2016

...at scarcely 200 pages, this exhilarating novel, a finalist for this year’s National Book Award, travels through its marvelous terrain so quickly that one is shocked, almost stricken, to reach the end. So do what I did: Read it again.

Read Full Review of News of the World: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Oct 13 2016

“News of the World” is a narrow but exquisite book about the joys of freedom (experienced even by a raging river threatening to overrun its banks); the discovery of unexpected, proprietary love between two people who have never experienced anything like it...

Read Full Review of News of the World: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Tom Zelman on Sep 30 2016

Mysterious and masterful, “News of the World” delivers the same sense of exotic wonder to us that the Captain’s articles bring to the frontier Texans.

Read Full Review of News of the World: A Novel | See more reviews from Star Tribune

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Oct 12 2016

...Kidd loves to cull and aggregate articles, loves the gasps of surprise he hears, loves the power of information. During the hours you spend reading “News of the World,” that power is magically restored.

Read Full Review of News of the World: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Reader Rating for News of the World
89%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 624 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×