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by Ann Packer

Download The Dive From Clausen's Pier fb2, epub

ISBN: 0375412824
Author: Ann Packer
Language: English
Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (April 9, 2002)
Pages: 384
Category: United States
Subcategory: Literature
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 506
Size Fb2: 1144 kb
Size ePub: 1749 kb
Size Djvu: 1554 kb
Other formats: docx doc azw mbr


The Dive From Clausen's Pier is the bestselling debut novel of American author Ann Packer. It was first published in 2002 by Alfred A. Knopf.

The Dive From Clausen's Pier is the bestselling debut novel of American author Ann Packer. Told through first person narration, the novel centers on Carrie Bell's response to her fiancé's paralysis and through her reactions, questions the obligations and loyalty people have to those in their life. The novel is divided into three parts which detail the transitions of Carrie's life.

Then Mike's dive from Clausen's Pier happened and their lives were permanently altered. Ann Packer is a wonderful writer in many ways-fine, well-tuned dialogue, thought-provoking descriptions of people's motives, and so on-but plot isn't her big talent

Then Mike's dive from Clausen's Pier happened and their lives were permanently altered. This book is character driven and reaches right to the heart of relationships. Ann Packer is a wonderful writer in many ways-fine, well-tuned dialogue, thought-provoking descriptions of people's motives, and so on-but plot isn't her big talent. As interesting as the idea for "The Dive from Clausen's Pier" is-woman leaves her fiance after he breaks his neck and becomes a quadriplegic-Packer can't quite pull it off.

He complained about things he’d read in the newspaper, or ranted about something he’d seen on the street-two women, say, who stood blocking the sidewalk, shopping bags at their feet, never a thought. for the people who had to step around them. Spring arrived with a cold, clear wind that whipped the sky blue and left behind it air that was softer and warmer than it had been in months

Ann Packer's provocative debut novel, The Dive from Clausen's Pier .

Ann Packer's provocative debut novel, The Dive from Clausen's Pier, portrays one young woman's conflict between her commitment to the people in her life and of her duty to be true to herself. At turns enigmatic and candid, this absorbing story challenges us to look inward and to ask discomfiting questions about our relationships, our priorities, and our selflessness for which there are neither easy nor definitive answers

Finishing Ann Packer's The Dive From Clausen's Pier is at once an immense relief and an immense loss. So I stopped reading those books. The Dive From Clausen's Pier was a grown-up Lurlene McDaniel' novelette.

Finishing Ann Packer's The Dive From Clausen's Pier is at once an immense relief and an immense loss. The character Kilroy talks about "hard" art (Picasso) and "soft" art (Matisse) and certainly Packer's is the former. The entire book is one long exercise in feeling and memory, in love and in loss. Packer such a wonderful writer, she actually makes you feel what Carrie, her main character, feels, even after the book has been closed.

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Read Dive From Clausen's Pier Online. p. cm. eISBN: 978-1-4000-4053-7 1. Young women-Fiction. 2. Accident victims-Fiction. 3. Wisconsin-Fiction.

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A conversation with Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier

A conversation with Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier. Q: In The Dive From Clausen’s Pier your 23-year-old heroine, Carrie Bell, is torn between whether to stay or go when her fiance? becomes quadriplegic after a terrible accident. It is a coming-of-age story that draws us in immediately to a complex web of moral dilemmas. Living elsewhere while I was writing the book had its moments of frustration–what was the name of that street, again?–but in certain ways it was also very freeing, because it allowed me to ignore or forget aspects of the city that did not serve my fictive purposes, and to invent others that did.

Ann Packer received the Great Lakes Book Award for The Dive from Clausen's Pier, which was a national bestseller. She is also the author of Mendocino and Other Stories. She is a past recipient of a James Michener award and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.

"The Dive from Clausen's Pier is one of those small miracles that reinforce our faith in fiction. It does what the best novels so often do, making the largest things visible by its perfect rendering of life on the smaller scale. It is witty, tragic and touching, and beguiling from the first page." --Scott Turow A riveting novel about loyalty and self-knowledge, and the conflict between who we want to be to others and who we must be for ourselves. Carrie Bell has lived in Wisconsin all her life. She’s had the same best friend, the same good relationship with her mother, the same boyfriend, Mike, now her fiancé, for as long as anyone can remember. It’s with real surprise she finds that, at age twenty-three, her life has begun to feel suffocating. She longs for a change, an upheaval, for a chance to begin again.That chance is granted to her, terribly, when Mike is injured in an accident. Now Carrie has to question everything she thought she knew about herself and the meaning of home. She must ask: How much do we owe the people we love? Is it a sign of strength or of weakness to walk away from someone in need?The Dive from Clausen’s Pier reminds us how precarious our lives are and how quickly they can be divided into before and after, whether by random accident or by the force of our own desires. It begins with a disaster that could happen, out of the blue, in anybody’s life, and it forces us to ask how we would bear up in the face of tragedy and what we know, or think we know, about our deepest allegiances. Elegantly written and ferociously paced, emotionally nuanced and morally complex, The Dive from Clausen’s Pier marks the emergence of a prodigiously gifted new novelist.

Comments:

Risa
I rarely have to rethink a book I've just finished, but my outsized disappointment at the way this one ended forced me to reflect. Packer's novel covers a year in the life of 23-year-old Carrie Bell of Madison, Wisconsin, and begins on the day her fiance, Mike, recklessly dives into too-shallow water and is left a quadriplegic. Their relationship, which began when they were 14 years old, was noticeably fraying before the accident, but Carrie's unhappiness grows as the pressure on her to be there for Mike keeps ratcheting up as he finally wakes from a head injury, undergoes surgery, begins to come to terms with his changed life, and embarks on grueling rehabilitation. Carrie feels that pressure from Mike's family, her mother, her best friend, and Mike's friends, even though all of them must be silently wondering -- as anyone in that situation would -- whether Mike's changed circumstances might change Carrie's feelings and responsibility to him. As that problem is unfolding, Carrie becomes reacquainted with a boy she went to high school with who now lives in New York and meets and at a dinner party meets another man from New York City who intrigues her. As the pressures on Carrie mount, she withdraws from her job and her friends, finding solace in sewing, a talent that has been a hobby but, from the tasks she undertakes, is clearly one for which she has a special talent.

SPOILER ALERT

About four months after Mike's accident, Carrie packs up her clothes and her sewing machine and, without telling anyone, drives away from Madison and winds up in New York. She looks up her high school friend, who fortuitously has a cheap place for her to stay, and she tracks down Kilroy, the much-older man who intrigued her, and they become lovers. Over the next few months, Carrie's life unfolds pretty predictably: lots of walking around New York, lots of oohing and aahing over hip New York fashion, lots of dating/job angst with her gay friend and their roommates, and lots of unrequited desire for emotional intimacy with moody Kilroy, who has many secrets, no friends, and an austere lifestyle. Of course Carrie falls in love with him, and as winter turns to spring, he begins planning a trip with her to France. Although she has no pretensions to art, she is captured by the paradoxical view of family offered by one of her roommates: "Miss Wolf is always telling me that the family is the enemy of the artist. Well, I think the family is the artist. Just like the sky is, or all the books you've ever read." But Carrie has no family -- her father abandoned her and her mother when she was three -- and that's one of the reasons she latched on to her fiance: she wanted his family. Eventually, Carrie whips out her sewing machine, which causes one of her roommates to drag her down to Parsons fashion school, where she signs up for courses and really impresses her professors. And that's when her best friend calls in the midst of a family crisis, asking Carrie to return to Madison to support her. After initially refusing, Carrie's stung into action by her friend's bitter words: "I don't know why I even asked/ Someone who dumps her boyfriend right after he breaks his neck? Forget it, of course you wouldn't come."

Except for her continued rejection by the bitter best friend, Carrie's return to Madison goes far more smoothly than I expected. There's plenty of coolness but little outright hostility, and she finds her way back to friendship with everyone in the end. Although she expects to be disappointed at the fabrics at the Madison shop she frequented before moving to the more glamorous offerings in New York fabric shops, Carrie finds that is not the case. In addition, although she misses her classes at Parsons, she actually lines up a paying design job in Madison. And however much she misses Kilroy, she can't seem to actually get on a plane because she's really interested in finding out how Mike's going to turn out. When Kilroy ships her the sewing machine she left in his apartment, that seals the deal: She's staying in Madison.

I found the ending of this novel a huge disappointment, which caused me to wonder first, why did Packer go with such a disappointing ending? The answer seems pretty obvious: She didn't view it as a disappointment. That left me wondering what I had missed? Upon reflection, the answer to that seemed pretty obvious as well. The Carrie who left Madison knew what she didn't want, and the Carrie who returned to Madison was primed to finally understand what she did want. She wanted a friend like Mike, who is forced to grow and adapt to his terrible fate, instead a lover like Kilroy, who is stuck in his austere world. She wanted to work with fabric, joining the pieces with her own hands, rather than become a fashion designer who sketches instead of sews. For Packer, the point of Carrie's surprising choice to stay in Madison is just that: her choice. In the year since Mike's accident, she's succeeded in taking command of her own life.
Nea
First of this author to read. LOVED her style. You wanted to just read and do nothing else which I did since I am retired! The premise of this book is sad but the author developed the characters and their emotional ties to each other so well that you felt you were one of them. There is someone to relate to no matter your age. As the story progresses you will watch your own reactions mature as the characters deal with the physical challenges of a main character develop through the story. Excellent story of love lost and found.
Hanelynai
Ann Packer is a wonderful writer in many ways--fine, well-tuned dialogue, thought-provoking descriptions of people's motives, and so on--but plot isn't her big talent. As interesting as the idea for "The Dive from Clausen's Pier" is--woman leaves her fiance after he breaks his neck and becomes a quadriplegic--Packer can't quite pull it off.

Carrie Bell has been having major second thoughts about her engagement to Mike Mayer, but has been lazily trying to anticipate what will happen rather than actively discussing her fears and worries with Mike. She makes no move to communicate or take action, so when he suddenly becomes an invalid, she feels trapped. She flees from their hometown of Madison, Wisconsin to New York where--conveniently--she rooms for free with a high school acquaintance, seems to exist on absolutely zero money (laughable for anyone who's ever even visited NYC, much less lived there), and spends a lot of time a) moping, b) sewing, and c) having sex with a new love interest. The new love interest is less open and available than Mike ever was (and has the improbable and annoying name of Kilroy), so of course he's very interesting to Carrie. Too bad he's not interesting to the reader--he's just annoying and pretentious.

Packer makes sure Kilroy has some mysterious past that he won't share with Carrie, but when he finally spills the beans, his big secret seems both inorganic and forced. When Carrie finally returns to Madison and tries to begin a new life in which Mike is just her friend, the story becomes believable again, even though Mike seems too tidily accepting of his terrible fate a mere year after the accident.

Packer really is a skilled writer in so many ways--see above--but the plot seemed to me to be simultaneously overly busy and really draggy. I felt like she would have benefited from some surgical editing--the book would have moved more briskly and been less flabby had her editor seen fit to cut 50 to 100 pages from its 400+ pages.

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