The Virgin of Flames by Chris Abani

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Synopsis

From the author of the award-winning GraceLand comes a searing, dazzlingly written novel of a tarnished City of Angels Praised as “singular” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and “extraordinary” (The New York Times Book Review), GraceLand stunned critics and instantly established Chris Abani as an exciting new voice in fiction. In his second novel, set against the uncompromising landscape of East L.A., Abani follows a struggling artist named Black, whose life and friendships reveal a world far removed from the mainstream. Through Black’s journey of self- discovery, Abani raises essential questions about poverty, religion, and ethnicity in America today. The Virgin of Flames, a marvelous and gritty novel filled with indelible images and unforgettable characters, confirms Chris Abani as an immensely talented writer.




 

About Chris Abani

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Chris Abani's fiction and poetry has been widely anthologized. His latest book, Kalakuta Republic, is a collection of poetry based on his experience as a political prisoner in Nigeria, and received the PEN USA West Freedom-to-Write Award and the Prince Claus of the Netherlands Award.
 
Published January 30, 2007 by Penguin Books. 312 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Virgin of Flames

Kirkus Reviews

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Shortly before her death, Black found a letter from his father explaining that because an evil spirit threatened to kill all male offspring of his Igbo family by age six, Black had been dressed as a girl until he turned seven.

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The New York Times

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Above all it’s the matter of his roots that haunts him: “He was trying to reinvent an origin to bury so he could finally come into this thing he wanted to be.” His deceased parents represent not only different cultures but the poles of science and faith: his father was an arrogant postdoctoral re...

Jan 28 2007 | Read Full Review of The Virgin of Flames

The New York Times

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Chris Abani’s novel is set in a Los Angeles that is continually reinventing itself.

Jan 28 2007 | Read Full Review of The Virgin of Flames

The Guardian

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His Los Angeles is not the movieland LA or the tourist LA or the sterile LA of freeways and endless newcomers, but rather the chaotic, colourful, dangerous, but stimulating LA of busy hustlers working out their fears, desires, and beliefs by means of retail.

Apr 21 2007 | Read Full Review of The Virgin of Flames

Publishers Weekly

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He's depressed and in an existential rut: engrossed in his latest work drawing on Catholic iconography (beaten into him as a child by his Salvadoran mother), and still smarting from the disappearance when he was a child of his African father (a NASA engineer) on a Vietnam-era space-related missio...

Nov 06 2006 | Read Full Review of The Virgin of Flames

Entertainment Weekly

B+ Originally posted Jan 26, 2007 Published in issue #918-919 Feb 02, 2007 Order article reprints

Jan 26 2007 | Read Full Review of The Virgin of Flames

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