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David Plante is the author of more than a dozen novels, including the Francoeur trilogy—The Family, The Woods, and The Country—as well as the nonfiction books Difficult Women, American Ghosts, and The Pure Lover. His work has appeared in many periodicals, The New Yorker and The Paris Review among them, and he has been nominated for a National Book Award.
Plante grew up in an isolated, French-speaking community in Providence, Rhode Island, where nuns preserved the beliefs of le grand Canada amidst the profound presence of their deep, dark God. Caught between his silent, part-Blackfoot father and his vivacious but trapped mother, Plante flees this small world, losing his belief in any god and finding the center of his life in love and in writing. Still, the ghosts of his past haunt Plante and drive him to embark on a stunning spiritual and physical journey.
"This wonderful book takes on what may be the hardest questions by allowing this most observant individual to see and hear in miraculous detail. How, it asks, does any person become American, let alone find a place in the breathing cathedral that is this majestic universe?" —Jane Vandenburgh, Boston Globe
"A memoir full of doubts and hesitations, a self-scouring undertaken with resolute frankness and considerable stylistic grace . . . Plante shows that origins can work on the spirit with a force as strong as gravity." —Sven Birkets, New York Times Book Review
"A book, and a life . . . consumed with exploration and examination. It is about asking hard questions, and making hard judgments, and rummaging, mercilessly, through the hidden recesses of a mind that never rests . . . Remarkable. And memorable." —David M. Shribman, Toronto Globe and Mail