‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr selected as Spring 2016 One Book
In the fast-paced world of 24-7 journalism and digital trends, good storytelling and compelling writing sometimes get forgotten. To celebrate and examine the art (and process) of writing, JEA has selected a novel as the Spring 2016 One Book: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
The book, which Doerr researched and wrote for 10 years, has been commended for its lyrical prose style and page-turner pacing. Set in World War II, the story tells the tale of a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France.
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is 6, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
To help create a sense of community, JEA leaders and members will conduct a series of online chats, podcasts and discussions in the upcoming months, culminating with an informal book club meeting at the organization’s spring convention April 14-17 in Los Angeles.
The JEA Bookstore will offer a special sale on the One Book: $21.60 for members using the bookstore discount code at checkout, plus shipping, at the JEA bookstore at http://store.jea.org/all-the-light-we-cannot-see.html. Members should login to the members-only area jea.org/membersarea before ordering to get the discount code.
Look for additional information coming in the new year.