A darkly luminous new novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hours
Michael Cunningham’s luminous
novel begins with a vision. It’s November 2004. Barrett Meeks, having
lost love yet again, is walking through Central Park when he is inspired
to look up at the sky; there he sees a pale, translucent light that
seems to regard him in a distinctly godlike way. Barrett doesn’t believe
in visions—or in God—but he can’t deny what he’s seen.
At the same time, in the
not-quite-gentrified Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, Tyler, Barrett’s
older brother, a struggling musician, is trying—and failing—to write a
wedding song for Beth, his wife-to-be, who is seriously ill. Tyler is
determined to write a song that will be not merely a sentimental ballad
but an enduring expression of love.
Barrett, haunted by the
light, turns unexpectedly to religion. Tyler grows increasingly
convinced that only drugs can release his creative powers. Beth tries to
face mortality with as much courage as she can summon.
Cunningham follows the Meeks
brothers as each travels down a different path in his search for
transcendence. In subtle, lucid prose, he demonstrates a profound
empathy for his conflicted characters and a singular understanding of
what lies at the core of the human soul.
The Snow Queen, beautiful and heartbreaking, comic and tragic, proves again that Cunningham is one of the great novelists of his generation.