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Parrot and Olivier in America

ISBN: 9780307476012 | 0307476014
Edition: Reprint
Format: Trade Paper
Publisher: Vintage
Pub. Date: 1/11/2011

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Parrot and Olivier in Americahas been shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. From the two-time Booker Prizewinning author comes an irrepressibly funny new novel set in early nineteenth-century America. Olivieran improvisation on the life of Alexis de Tocquevilleis the traumatized child of aristocratic survivors of the French Revolution. Parrot is the motherless son of an itinerant English printer. They are born on different sides of history, but their lives will be connected by an enigmatic one-armed marquis. When Olivier sets sail for the nascent United Statesostensibly to make a study of the penal system, but more precisely to save his neck from one more revolutionParrot will be there, too: as spy for the marquis, and as protector, foe, and foil for Olivier. As the narrative shifts between the perspectives of Parrot and Olivier, between their picaresque adventures apart and togetherin love and politics, prisons and finance, homelands and brave new landsa most unlikely friendship begins to take hold. And with their story, Peter Carey explores the experiment of American democracy with dazzling inventiveness and with all the richness and surprise of characterization, imagery, and language that we have come to expect from this superlative writer.


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