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2023 Shortlist

Cloud Cuckoo Land

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Cloud Cuckoo Land is gloriously wide-ranging, ambitious and seriously playful. We weave between Idaho in 2014, where the sadly realistic story of a troubled teenager with a gun in small town library unfolds, Constantinople under siege in 1452, where an orphaned girl has to make her own way after the nuns who have raised her flee for their lives, and the spaceship Argos in ‘Mission Years’ 55-64. There are intermissions in 1970s London, 1950s Korea, present-day America. The settings may be kaleidoscopic but the characters are wholly engaging, teenagers negotiating similar questions across the centuries: what knowledge do we need for adult life, how can we survive, live well and be good in times of scarcity? Is it safer to fear or to hope? The novel is rooted in libraries, archives and repositories, returning always to the precious cargos of the written word. Doerr conjures landscapes, cityscapes: one dying eagle, one child inching up a stone tower, and also an army on the march, a mountainside in spring, a walled city defeated. His well-crafted prose wheels the reader across centuries and continents, leaving us in a slightly changed world.

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, comes the instant New York Times bestseller that is a “wildly inventive, a humane and uplifting book for adults that’s infused with the magic of childhood reading experiences” (The New York Times Book Review). Among the most celebrated and beloved novels of recent times, Cloud Cuckoo Land is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope, and a book.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Anthony
Doerr

Anthony Doerr is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. He is also the author of two story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won four O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize.

Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

Anthony Doerr is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. He is also the author of two story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won four O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize.

Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

This book had good storytelling in spades. Each of the characters has a relationship with a librarian, Zeno and Seymour with the librarians in Lakeport, Idaho, Anna with scribes in Constantinople, Omeir with Anna, and Konstance with the AI controller of her ship. This beautifully written book is a shining example of hope. – Bács-Kiskun Megyei Katona József Könyvtár, Hungary

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
28/09/2021
Author
Publisher
4th Estate, Scribner

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