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College of Arts & Sciences
The Open Book


Anthony Marra

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

This remarkable debut novel, set in rural Chechnya, moved hardened book critics to tears, led others to announce the arrival of a new Tolstoy or a contemporary Chekhov. Ron Charles of the Washington Post describes A Constellation of Vital Phenomena this way: “A flash in the heavens that makes you look up and believe in miracles....Here, in fresh, graceful prose, is a profound story that dares to be as tender as it is ghastly, a story about desperate lives in a remote land that will quickly seem impossibly close and important." The novel won the National Book Critics Circle’s inaugural John Leonard Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and appeared on over twenty year-end lists. It was a National Book Award long list selection as well as a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and France’s Prix Medicis. Marra holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where he teaches as the Jones Lecturer in Fiction. Also author of the story collection The Tsar of Love and Techno, Tony Marra is known for being thoughtful, wise, and authentic when interacting with readers.

Monday, April 9: Talk on A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
Wednesday, April 11: Anthony Marra visits
Anthony Marra
2018