The Necessary Beggar

Susan Palwick

Tor Books

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Susan Palwick, author of the remarkable Flying in Place, now returns with a compelling new novel of a family cast out of an idyllic realm, learning to live in our own troubled world. With its richly imagined portrayal of a lost culture, complete with poetry and fables, traditions and customs, and its searing yet sympathetic view of own society as seen through new eyes, The Necessary Beggar is an compelling examination of humanity and the redemptive power of love, in the spirit of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed and Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land.
 
Lémabantunk, the Glorious City, is a place of peace and plenty, of festivals and flowers, bejeweled streets and glittering waterfalls. But it is also a land of severe justice.  Darroti, a young merchant, has been accused of an unforgiveable crime – the brutal murder a highborn woman.  Now, in keeping with the customs of their world, his entire family must share in his punishment – exile to the unknown world that lies beyond a mysterious gate.
 
Passing through that gate, and grieving for the life they leave behind,  Darroti and his family find themselves in a harsh and hostile land – America just a few years hence, a country under attack in a world torn by hatred and warfare. Unable to explain their origin, they are rapidly remanded to an internment camp in the Nevada desert, along with thousands of other refugees.  There they endeavor to make sense of this ill-fated land where strange gods are worshipped, and living things like flowers and insects are not respected.
 
After Darroti, unable to bear his disgrace, takes his life, the rest of the family escapes to the outside world. There, each tries to cope in their own way.  Timbor, the head of the clan, troubled by the restless spirit of his departed son who comes to him in dreams, does his best to preserve the old ways, and avoid conflict with the outsiders. His eldest son Masofo, who calls himself Max, is lured by the worldly temptations of this new world, while his second son, Erolorit, strives to make a decent life for his family.
 
But it is Timor’s granddaughter, Zamatryna, who is the quickest to adjust to this strange new world.  It is she who is the first to learn its language, to adopt its customs, to accept this place as her new home.  And, as the strain of adapting themselves to this new life begins to tear the family apart, it is Zama, sustained by the extraordinary love of an ordinary young man, who finds a way to heal their grief and give them new hope.

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Necessary Beggar, The
1TimborAll of us were dumbfounded when Zamatryna-Harani insisted on the old customs for her wedding. The only thing that surprised us more was the marriage itself. Zamatryna had always been stubborn, but she had been stubborn about fitting in, about claiming this new place as her own. Or so we thought; she had been pondering the old ways for years, as you will learn, but she told no one. She kept silent out of love, and the family suspected nothing.How could we have suspected? She was only six years old when we were exiled from Lémabantunk, the Glorious City, and sent

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Praise for The Necessary Beggar

Praise for Susan Palwick
 
“Packs a huge emotional wallop...Flying in Place is a brave and honest work, an impressive and important debut.” —San Francisco Examiner
 
“Unflinching clarity and great dramatic power…Susan Palwick, a young writer who has hitherto attracted some notice for her stories, poems, and essays, is with Flying in Place a novelist of moment.” —Newsday
 
“One of the best and most moving novels by a new author I have read in years.” —Alison Lurie on Flying in Place
 
“I read it in one night and a morning train trip, arriving for work dazed, distracted and drinking in the last few pages.  It is a deeply moving book.  Palwick’s withering understatements of pain are laced with a regret for the lost magic of childhood—even a ruined childhood.” —Geoff Ryman on Flying in Place
 
Flying in Place is a bittersweet novel of a dead sister who returns to give our narrator the tools she need to break her family out of  the poisonous pattern that is consuming them all. ... beautifully handled ... a wonderful debut for a writer who has proved she can write well in long forms as well as short ones -- may it be the first of many novels from Palwick, each one better than the ones before.”Orson Scott Card
 
“Flying in Place is compelling, wrapping deep-empathy insights in lyric poetry to show us the monster behind the mask.”—Andrew Vachss

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About the Author

Susan Palwick

SUSAN PALWICK teaches writing and literature at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is the author of more than a dozen works of critically acclaimed short fiction and poetry. Her first novel, Flying in Place, won the Crawford Award for Best First Fantasy Novel, and her poem, “The Neighbor’s Wife,” earned the Rhysling Award for best short science fiction poem.

Susan Palwick

Susan Palwick

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The Necessary Beggar
Susan Palwick

Award

ALA Alex Awards Winner (Adult for Young Adults)

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Tom Doherty Associates
Tor Books
March 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429959575
ISBN10: 1429959576
320 pages
$7.99
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