Excerpt from Empire of Light by David Czuchlewski, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Empire of Light

by David Czuchlewski

Empire of Light
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2003, 236 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2005, 240 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


On my way home I stopped for food at the corner grocery near my apartment. As I wandered the aisles I decided to prepare the one relatively elaborate dish I knew how to make, one that Anna had taught me to make in Sicily several summers before. I collected fettuccine, pine nuts, raisins, chard, garlic and Parmesan cheese. I evaluated the lettuce and picked a head of floppy red leaf, getting enough for two, on the off chance.

But the apartment was empty and silent, filled with the dim light of sunset and evening gloom. Anna had made the bed and washed the mugs she had used the previous night. There was a note, folded and slipped into the keyboard of my computer so that it stood upright.

Dear Matt,

Thanks again for letting me barge in last night. I got in touch with a friend who lives in Red Hook and she said I could stay with her for a while, so don't worry. It was good to see you again, although I guess also kind of awkward. I did a lot of thinking last night. I'm beginning to see that I'm the one responsible. I made a wrong turn and never realized it. I feel that everything is broken somehow. But I'm going to get my act together. Here I am in New York again, and there's no reason I can't start over. I want you to want to see me.

Your friend,

Anna

P.S. Please don't tell Carl where I am.


I crumpled the note and pitched it across the room into the wastebasket. I hated the way she made me feel--sick with aloneness and infected with her craziness. That entire night I'd had to restrain myself from bursting into the bedroom to be with her. I knew she would not have refused.

I made dinner, enough for two, and ate alone. I turned on the evening news but I didn't pay attention to it. I almost picked up the phone to let Carl Barrett know I had seen Anna, but I decided I owed him nothing, not even that small favor. Sitting in my messy apartment, awash in the television's purple light, I knew for sure that something was missing--certainly Anna, but also something larger that her presence and renewed absence had simply alerted me to.

When I went to bed the pillow smelled faintly of her hair and the sake.

From Empire of Light by David Czuchlewski. Copyright 2003 by Davind Czuchlewski. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Putnam books.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

A million monkeys...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.