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A unique bond forms between a twelve-year-old and a Jamaican housekeeper in this moving novel that is “a work of art” (Los Angeles Times).
The basis for the beloved film starring Whoopi Goldberg, this prize-winning novel by the author of Nightswimmer and Cloudland charts the profound, rare friendship between a wise woman named Clara and David, a twelve-year-old boy adrift in the wake of a family tragedy and his parents’ broken marriage. As the two grow closer, she brings him into her special world of patois and Jamaican beauty parlors and shadowy alliances, and he comes to realize that in her native country Clara has left behind a mystery, which he grows determined to unveil.
Heralded as a classic, Clara’s Heart is at once moving and comical, a tribute to unconventional love, by “a writer in total command of his narrative” (Ian McEwan).
“A remarkable writer.” —Grace Paley
“An impressive novel . . . Clara’s Heart is notable precisely because of the risks Joseph Olshan has taken that do succeed, not the least of which is its sensitive and often comical treatment of the unique love between a precocious American boy and a wise if tormented Jamaican woman.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Olshan’s achievement is to have created a separate and entirely believable world, carefully, comically and humanely drawn. It is held together by much tension and contains many excellent and recognizable scenes and embarrassments . . . A fine debut.” —The Times Literary Supplement (London)
Joseph Olshan is the award-winning author of nine novels, the most recent of which, Cloudland (2012), was hailed by the New York Times: “Joseph Olshan has stepped up and hit one for the home team. The bracing clarity of his prose . . . observes the destructive impact [the] killings have on this isolated region.”
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly