For Rouenna

A Novel

Sigrid Nunez

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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From one of the most celebrated novelists of her generation, the story of a woman in the Vietnam War

"After my first book was published, I received some letters." So begins Sigrid Nunez's haunting novel about the poignant and unusual friendship between a writer and a retired army nurse who seeks her out decades after their childhood in the same housing project. Among the letters the narrator receives is one from a Rouenna Zycinski, recalling their old connection and asking if they can meet.Though fascinated by the stories Rouenna tells about her life as a combat nurse in Vietnam, the narrator flatly declines her request that they collaborate on a memoir. It is only later, in the aftermath of Rouenna's shocking death, that the narrator is drawn to write about her friend--and her friend's war. Writing Rouenna's story becomes all-consuming, at once a necessity and the only consolation.

For Rouenna, an unforgettable novel about truth, memory, and unexpected heroism by one of the most gifted writers of her generation, is also a remarkable and surprising new look at war.

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Book Excerpts

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Excerpt from For Rouenna by Sigrid Nunez. Copyright © 2001 by Sigrid Nunez. To be published in November, 2001 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.


After my first book was published, I received some letters. Most of them were from strangers, people who had read the book and who wanted me to know what they thought of it. They were friendly letters for the most part, though a few were critical. ("I hope you won't mind my saying that I did not like the ending at all," and so on.) I also heard from people I had known in the past.

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Praise for For Rouenna

"Nunez nearly transforms literature into ballet"--Washington Post

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About the Author

Sigrid Nunez

Sigrid Nunez is the author of A Feather on the Breath of God, Naked Sleeper, and Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury. She has been the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award and of two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters: the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Rome Prize in Literature.

Sigrid Nunez

©Marion Ettlinger
Sigrid Nunez

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Available Formats and Book Details

For Rouenna
A Novel
Sigrid Nunez

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
November 2002
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429944861
ISBN10: 1429944862
208 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
November 2002
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312420635
ISBN10: 0312420633
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages
$17.00
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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