The Angel Esmeralda: Book summary and reviews of The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo

The Angel Esmeralda

Nine Stories

By Don DeLillo

The Angel Esmeralda
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2011,
    224 pages.

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Book Summary

From one of the greatest writers of our time, his first collection of short stories, written between 1979 and 2011, chronicling - and foretelling - three decades of American life.

Set in Greece, the Caribbean, Manhattan, a white-collar prison and outer space, these nine stories are a mesmerizing introduction to Don DeLillo's iconic voice, from the rich, startling, jazz-infused rhythms of his early work to the spare, distilled, monastic language of the later stories.

In "Creation," a couple at the end of a cruise somewhere in the West Indies can't get off the island - flights canceled, unconfirmed reservations, a dysfunctional economy. In "Human Moments in World War III," two men orbiting the earth, charged with gathering intelligence and reporting to Colorado Command, hear the voices of American radio, from a half century earlier. In the title story, Sisters Edgar and Grace, nuns working the violent streets of the South Bronx, confirm the neighborhood's miracle, the apparition of a dead child, Esmeralda.

Nuns, astronauts, athletes, terrorists and travelers, the characters in The Angel Esmeralda propel themselves into the world and define it. DeLillo's sentences are instantly recognizable, as original as the splatter of Jackson Pollock or the luminous rectangles of Mark Rothko. These nine stories describe an extraordinary journey of one great writer whose prescience about world events and ear for American language changed the literary landscape.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[W]hat distinguishes DeLillo's work is the way in which he engages the world rather than settling for the literary parlor tricks of some virtuoso experimentalists." - Kirkus Reviews

"For readers of literary fiction, this book is a good introduction to DeLillo's iconic postmodern style, though those new to the genre may find it a somewhat hard pill to swallow." - Library Journal

"DeLillo's keen interest in the human experience of American historical and cultural moments is on clear display, and his full expressive range - from steady spareness (sometimes verging on disorienting frigidity) to roguish attitude and tender intimacy - is showcased well." - Publishers Weekly

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Author Information

Don DeLillo Author Biography

Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Falling Man, Libra and White Noise, and three plays. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Jerusalem Prize. In 2006, Underworld was named one of the three best novels of the last twenty-five years by The New York Times Book Review, and in 2000 it won the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters for the most distinguished work of fiction of the past five years.

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