Specimen Days: A Novel (Paperback)

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Discover the Boundless Transformation of Life and Time

Welcome to the curated universe of Michael Cunningham's compelling novel, Specimen Days. Crafted with the elegance and power synonymous with this Pulitzer prize-winning author, this intricate work harmoniously blends literary fiction, historical narratives, and riveting science fiction. It's a bold exploration of New York City and the ultimate direction of America's destiny.

The novel masterfully weaves three riveting stories, each one echoing with the presence of characters familiar but uniquely adapted to their own era.

The first tale, "In the Machine," throws us back to the height of the industrial revolution, a chilling ghost story of humanity wrestling with the alien concepts of the new machine age.

Our journey continues with "The Children's Crusade," a thrilling narrative set in the 21st century, where a terrifying chain of seemingly random bombings plague a metropolis forcing us to examine the shadows of crisis and terror.

"Like Beauty" envisions New York 150 years into the future, a city teetering on the edge of collapse under the weight of refugees from Earth's first extraterrestrial contact.

Promising an immersive, transformative, and genre-blending literary experience, this imaginative narrative illuminates the transcendent interconnectedness of time, humanity, and destiny.

About the Author

MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, Specimen Days, By Nightfall, and The Snow Queen, as well as the collection A Wild Swan and Other Tales, and the nonfiction book Land’s End: A Walk in Provincetown. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Best American Short Stories. The Hours was a New York Times bestseller, and the winner of both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Raised in Los Angeles, Michael Cunningham lives in New York City, and is a senior lecturer at Yale University.

Praise For…

Specimen Days offers just about every kind of literary pleasure, and all of them in abundance: suspense, hilarity, invention, romance, and passage after passage of breathtaking prose.” —Ethan Canin, The Washington Post

“Michael Cunningham has taken a quantum leap imaginatively, stylistically, and thematically in this bewitching novel of a metamorphosing New York City. . . . Brilliantly conceived, empathic, darkly humorous, and gorgeously rendered, Cunningham's galvanizing novel . . . is a genuine literary event.” —Booklist (starred review)

“An extraordinary book, as ambitious as it is generous . . . I promise you fun, marvels, adventure, love stories, plus the uninhibited exercise of a great natural writer and an inspired historian. . . . This is a transforming book, the lovely, tattered record of our time and place, and of our wish to prevail.” —David Thomson, The New York Observer

“[Specimen Days] is a love song of a novel, rich and melancholy and overflowing with smartness.” —The Boston Globe

“Another dazzling tour de force.” —Library Journal

“An astonishing accomplishment and the best book Cunningham has written.” —O magazine

“One of the most luminous and penetrating novels to appear this year.” —The Oregonian (Portland)

“It is his unique moral vision that successfully hinges three distinct narrative panels into a triptych of unified beauty. It's what raises his individual stories out of their genres into the glorious realm of art . . . Big, haunting, beautiful.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

“[A] tour de force.” —People****

“Exquisitely written.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Stunning . . . It is a rich reading experience, going from the brutal factory scenes to the thriller of the middle section, and then on to the brave new world of the final section. Cunningham has made something substantively and stylistically bold out of these stories, keeping his many fires stoked and pulling the parts together as a brilliant whole.” —The Seattle Times

“Quite simply and even more impressively than in The Hours, Cunningham writes like an angel. . . . Read this magical, spellbinding novel.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Like Whitman, Cunningham too sings America, in all its grime and glory . . . and Specimen Days is a book of wonders.” —The Times Picayune (New Orleans)

“Line by line, page by page, one of the most beautifully executed experiments of the decade.” —NPR's All Things Considered

Product Details
ISBN: 9780312425029
ISBN-10: 0312425023
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: April 18th, 2006
Pages: 352
Language: English