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  • Virago

A Feather on the Breath of God

Sigrid Nunez

5 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

From Sigrid Nunez, the National Book Award-winning and bestselling author of The Friend, comes this mesmerising story about the tangled nature of relationships between parents and children, between language and love.

'A pleasure from the first page to the last' JONATHAN FRANZEN

A young woman looks back to the world of her immigrant parents: a Chinese-Panamanian father and a German mother, who meet in postwar Germany and settle in New York City. Growing up in a housing project in the 1950s and 1960s, the narrator escapes into dreams inspired both by her parents' stories and by her own reading and, for a time, into the otherworldly life of ballet. A yearning homesick mother, a silent and withdrawn father, the ballet-these are the elements that shape the young woman's imagination and her sexuality.

'A forceful novel by a writer of uncommon talent' NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

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Praise for A Feather on the Breath of God

  • A forceful novel by a writer of uncommon talent - New York Times Book Review

  • A pleasure from the first page to the last - Jonathan Franzen

  • Remarkable - Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • An intelligent and poignant examination of social and erotic displacement, and written with such extraordinary and seemingly unstudied conviction that one accepts every word of it as truth - Atlantic Monthly

  • A Feather on the Breath of God brilliantly succeeds in describing a life on the fringe, outside the conventional categories of cultural and personal identity. . . . A remarkable book, full of strange brilliance, trembling with fury and tenderness - Philadelphia Enquirer

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Sigrid Nunez

Sigrid Nunez has published seven novels, including A Feather on the Breath of God, The Last of Her Kind, Salvation City, and, most recently, The Friend, which won the National Book Award 2018. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. Among the journals to which she has contributed are The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, Threepenny Review, Harper's, McSweeney's, Tin House, The Believer and newyorker.com. Her work has also appeared in several anthologies, including four Pushcart Prize volumes and four anthologies of Asian-American literature.


Sigrid's honors and awards include a Whiting Writer's Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, and two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters: the Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Rome Prize in Literature. The Friend won the 2018 National Book Award. She has taught at Columbia, Princeton, Boston University, and the New School, and has been a visiting writer or writer in residence at Amherst, Smith, Baruch, Vassar, and the University of California, Irvine, among others. In spring, 2019, she will be visiting writer at Syracuse University. Sigrid has also been on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and of several other writers' conferences across the country. She lives in New York City.

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