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Exiles by Ron Hansen
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Exiles (2008)

by Ron Hansen

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I've always loved Gerard Manley Hopkins' poems, and wondered why there weren't more of them (37 in all I think). This book is a wonderful novel and accounting of a life that was wondrous, sweet, and sad, all at the same time...so much talent, so much devotion, so much waste -- something like Van Gogh's genius and sorrow. A very good book, but terribly depressing. I wonder how much of the sadness of this account of his life was truly Hopkins and how much the author's. ( )
  MarthaHuntley | Apr 16, 2014 |
could not finish ( )
  lindaspangler | Jan 27, 2014 |
This could have been great, instead Hansen can't decide if he writing a novel or a nonfiction essay. Regardless, it's a sad story, and I like those. Anyone who has ever felt called to religious order will appreciate the text a lot more. ( )
  librarianbryan | Apr 20, 2012 |
Mr Hansen finally gets my attention with this one . ( )
  brone | Mar 18, 2012 |
Exiles: a Novel. Ron Hansen. 2008. This fascinating novel is based on the life of Gerard Manley Hopkins and his composition of the poem, “The Wreck of the Deutschland,” which was based on real ship wreck that occurred in 1875 in which 5 German nuns were among the people who did not survive. Hopkins was in a Jesuit seminary when the wreck occurred. The author moves back and forth between Hopkins life, the lives of the nuns, and the wreck and presents a fascinating portrait of Germany and England in the late 1800s. Hansen is a marvelous writer. I plan to re-read Mariette in Ecstasy and get some more of his books to read. ( )
  judithrs | Jan 13, 2010 |
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A soft confetti of snowflakes was fluttering down upon Wales.
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From the front flap: With Exiles, Ron Hansen tells the story of a notorious shipwreck that prompted Gerard Manley Hopkins to break years of "elected silence" with an outpouring of dazzling poetry.

In December, 1875, the steamship Deutschland left Bremen, bound for England and then America. On board were five young nuns who, exiled by Bismarck's laws against Catholic religious orders, were going to begin their lives anew in Missouri. Early one morning, the ship ran aground in the Thames estuary and more than sixty lives were lost--including those of the five nuns.

Hopkins was a Jesuit seminarian in Wales, and he was so moved by the news of the shipwreck that he wrote a grand poem about it, his first serious work since abandoning a literary career at Oxford to become a priest. He, too, would die young, an exile from the literary world, where his work remained unpublished. But as Hansen's gorgeously written account of Hopkin's life make clear, he fulfilled his calling.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374150974, Hardcover)

With Exiles, Ron Hansen tells the story of a notorious shipwreck that prompted Gerard Manley Hopkins to break years of “elected silence” with an outpouring of dazzling poetry.

In December 1875 the steamship Deutschland left Bremen, bound for England and then America. On board were five young nuns who, exiled by Bismarck’s laws against Catholic religious orders, were going to begin their lives anew in Missouri. Early one morning, the ship ran aground in the Thames and more than sixty lives were lost—including those of the five nuns.

Hopkins was a Jesuit seminarian in Wales, and he was so moved by the news of the shipwreck that he wrote a grand poem about it, his first serious work since abandoning a literary career at Oxford to become a priest. He too would die young, an exile from the literary world. But as Hansen’s gorgeously written account of Hopkins’s life makes clear, he fulfilled his calling.

Combining a thrilling tragedy at sea with the seeming shipwreck of Hopkins’s own life, Exiles joins Hansen’s Mariette in Ecstasy (called “an astonishingly deft and provocative novel” by The New York Times) as a novel that dramatizes the passionate inner search of religious life and makes it accessible to us in the way that only great art can.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:26 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The story of a notorious shipwreck that had prompted Gerard Manley Hopkins to break years of silence with an outpouring of dazzling poetry.

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