Born in 1944 in New York City, Thomas E . Kennedy spent his youth hitchhiking and writing his way around the United States before moving to Europe, where he has quietly published over twenty books. In the decade from 1995 to 2005, he wrote the Copenhagen Quartet, four novels set in the Danish capital, his adopted home. Published in Ireland and Denmark, the Copenhagen Quartet won international awards and was hailed as a masterpiece by Duff Brenna. Critics concurred, establishing Kennedy as a daring writer of rare grace and vision. Yet his work has never seen major publication in his native country.
In the Company of Angels is the first novel of the Quartet to appear here, a powerful story of two damaged souls struggling from darkness to light. Imprisoned for teaching political poetry to his students, Bernardo Greene has been tortured for months in Pinochets Chile when he is visited by two angels who promise that he will survive to experience beauty and love once again. Months later, in Copenhagen, where he has come for treatment, the Chilean exile befriends Michela Ibsen, herself a survivor of domestic abuse. In the long nights of summer, the two of them struggle to heal, to forgive those who have left them damaged, and to trust themselves to love.
Taking on the very best and the very worst of human experience, In the Company of Angels is a moving, achingly human story that achieves a fable-like quality rare in contemporary fiction. Dense with wisdom and humanity, this already acclaimed novel is a riveting testament to the resilience and complexity of the human heart.
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"Starred Review. Kennedy's respect for his characters and startlingly tender regard for basic humanity color what is in effect a high-concept love story resonant with, as Nardo says, The produce... of our lives." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. Each characters story is so undeniably interesting that the reader gains a sense of the wonder of disparate lives with unpredictable but intriguing connections." - Booklist
"Kennedy writes with unusual insight and compassion, depicting the best and the worst of the human experience. His work may be new to U.S. readers, but it merits greater attention, and we should look forward to seeing the other three books in his quartet published here." - Library Journal
"An artfully written story with a conscience." - Kirkus Reviews
"Thomas E. Kennedy is an astonishment, and In the Company of Angels is as elegant as it is beautiful, as important as it is profound. A marvel of a read. - Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
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Thomas E. Kennedy's books include novels, story and essay collections, literary criticism, translation, and anthologies. His essays won a National Magazine Award in 2008, and his fiction has been awarded several other prizes. He teaches at the Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA program. Born and raised in New York, Kennedy currently lives in Copenhagen with his two children.
His Copenhagen Quartet comprises four independent novels about the souls and seasons, the light and jazz and serving houses of the Danish capital. The US publisher has chosen to publish these stand-alone books in a different sequence to their publication order in Europe - starting with the third volume in the quartet, Greene's Summer but with a different title; and following with the fourth.
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