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Corner of the Dead (Juniper Prize for Poetry) Paperback – March 26, 2008
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"An extraordinary account of one woman's journey into hell and how she brought it back with her. Written in Lynn Lurie's wonderful exact prose, this book small in size, and enormous in content, a dizzying look at appalling horrors, a terrifying depiction of what human beings are capable of doing to each other, an investigation into the worth of a human life. Corner of the Dead is a very moving, gutsy, urgent book."―Edward Carey, author of Observatory Mansions
"Corner of the Dead is keen and passionate―a sexually alive elegy. Lurie's hypnotic language is as subversive as Seuss in its indictment of racism, bullies, and demigods. A stunning debut."―Fran Gordon, author of Paisley Girl
"In this haunting, powerful novel, Lynn Lurie explores not only 'the corner of the dead,' but that entire shadowy no-man's-land where the dead and those who remember them―or more accurately, those who cared enough to try to save them―play out the elemental trauma of their shared experience. Lurie's strong, spare prose will stay with you long after the reading; the truths she tells of life and death in one of the hardest places on earth will stay with you even longer."―Ben Fountain, author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: Stories
"Corner of the Dead has the indelible feeling of a dream you can't shake, a terror made beautiful. It moves by sensation, association, with great fluidity and urgency."―Noy Holland, author of What Begins with Bird: Fictions
"Lynn Lurie's report about political aberration and organized cruelty is an eloquent appeal for compassion for and solidarity with their victims."―Elie Wiesel
"In her first novel, Lurie tells the chilling story of a woman's struggle to overcome the horror she's witnessed working in violent 1980s Peru. American photojournalist Lisette, her heart set on helping Peruvian citizens terrorized by the Shining Path guerrillas, does her best as a humanitarian worker to understand and protect her fellow villagers. Wracked with dismay and guilt, Lisette's good intentions don't always go as far as she would hope, and she finds herself powerless to stop her friends and neighbors from being captured or butchered. As the novel unfolds, Lisette finds love amidst the bloodshed in her housemate Karl, but a shifting chronology sees Lisette back in America with a husband and children, seemingly unable to cope with all she's witnessed. Lurie's haunting debut is a spare, confident look at third world tragedy and the complex, conflicting reactions it spurs in well-meaning citizens of the first world."―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Lynn Lurie, a New York City resident, is an attorney with an MA in international affairs and an MFA in writing. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador and currently volunteers as a translator and administrator on medical trips to South America that provide surgery free of charge to children.
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I loved this book, but I found being an observer sometimes frustrating. I wanted to know the characters - what they were thinking, where they came from - what they survived - their childhoods, their customs, their loves, their stories. In particular, I wondered about Enrique's wife, Amparo.