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Death and the Butterfly

List Price: $26.00

ON SALE: July 14, 2020 | Hardcover | 272 pages | ISBN 9781640093256
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For readers of Michael Ondaatjeis and Chris Cleave, this sweeping multigenerational novel centered around endless heartbreak and enduring love features the intertwined stories of three women who transcend three tragedies of the the twentieth century with the aid of the greatest love poet of all time: Pablo Neruda.

London, England, September 1940. Thirteen-year-old Susan McEwan and her older brother, Phillip―himself a pilot―witness firsthand the initial Nazi bombing of civilian London. Weeks later, Phillip’s Sunderland bomber is shot down, and his family is wordlessly devastated.

Toronto, Canada, the early 1980s. As a young couple struggles to survive the Reagan recession, the husband, Alexander Polo, is forced to take a job as a paperboy. When the wife, Julie, is expectant, Polo must now confront his future head-on and heart open.

Montana, the first days of September 2001. In the midst of his wedding and 9/11, Jack Riordan discovers a magazine story written by Polo about Susan and airplanes and her love of the poems of Pablo Neruda.

With humor and insight, Colin Hester explores how Susan, Polo, and Jack carry on―grieving the death of a child or the end of a marriage―in deeply felt and beautifully imagined prose. Hester’s intricate and sweeping multigenerational novel, Death and the Butterfly, follows a cast of interconnected characters through life’s endless heartbreak and enduring love.

About Colin Hester

COLIN HESTER is a British-born former student of Zen and former thirty-year-old paperboy. The author of The Diamond Sutra, Hester has taught writing at Central Washington University, the University of Montana, and the University of Colorado. He lives just north of Seattle with his British-born wife, Susan, and his U.S.-born cat.

Praise

Praise for Death and the Butterfly

Historical Novel Society, One of the Forthcoming Historical Novels of the Year
Paperback Paris, 1 of 25 New Historical Fiction Books Hitting Shelves This Season

"Death and the Butterfly is a marvel, a magic trick, both a ballet on the tightwire of human strength and frailty and a fall into the darkest and deepest well. Colin Hester's achingly poignant sentences--this is an artist at the top of his power--balanced me breathlessly and held my hand as I fell. What his characters find in these most dark and private places--what we find--is one another. This is a story about Nazi bombs and grief-dumb road trips, of dying lovers and children. About senselessness, and sense. A story of how, paradoxically, our own most private grief is what connects us to everyone. It's a novel about poetry, too, and how common beauty and loss just might help us love, and love the world, again." --David Allan Cates, author of Tom Connor's Gift

Praise for Diamond Sutra

"A wonderful read . . . A true house of cards in which you fall, like Alice, through scene after scene. It's a fall from grace through horror into a grace more simple. And after the house of cards tumbles we are left alone, awake and alive." --William Kittredge, author of The Willow Field

"Like a dream that leaves you trembling for hours, Diamond Sutra is by turns frightening, sexy, edgy, fantastic, and at its center deeply courageous and true. Colin Hester tells a story like a magician and writes like he's lit from within." --Pam Houston, author of Deep Creek

"Heartfelt and evocative." --Newsday

"A knowing ride through the rough country of a young man's broken heart." --Publishers Weekly

"Original, quirky, impressive . . . [an] audacious debut." --Kirkus Reviews

"Provocative . . . sensational . . . A story of passion and intermittent poetry." --Kirkus Reviews

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