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The Incendiaries

A Novel

Now a National Bestseller

"Religion, politics, and love collide in this slim but powerful novel reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Secret History, with menace and mystery lurking in every corner." --People Magazine

"The most buzzed-about debut of the summer, as it should be...unusual and enticing ... The Incendiaries arrives at precisely the right moment." --The Washington Post

"Radiant...A dark, absorbing story of how first love can be as intoxicating and dangerous as religious fundamentalism." --New York Times Book Review

A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into a cult's acts of terrorism.


Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet in their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn't tell anyone she blames herself for her mother's recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe.

Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is drawn into a secretive cult founded by a charismatic former student with an enigmatic past. When the group commits a violent act in the name of faith, Will finds himself struggling to confront a new version of the fanaticism he's worked so hard to escape. Haunting and intense,
The Incendiaries is a fractured love story that explores what can befall those who lose what they love most.
Rezension
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Buzzfeed, The Today Show, NPR, The Atlantic, LitHub, Electric Lit, PBS Books, Nylon, Bustle, Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Real Simple, Newsweek, BBC

"Kwon is a writer of many talents, and The Incendiaries is a debut of dark, startling beauty." -San Francisco Chronicle

"Disarmingly propulsive." -Vogue

"A singular version of the campus novel ... a story about spiritual uncertainty and about the fierce and undisciplined desire of [Kwon's] young characters to find something luminous to light their way through their lives." -NPR's "Fresh Air"

"If you only read one book this summer, make it this complex and searing debut novel." -Southern Living

"[With] a fairy-tale quality reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Secret History ... [The Incendiaries is] the rare depiction of belief that doesn't kill the thing it aspires to by trying too hard. It makes a space, and then steps away to let the mystery in." -The New Yorker

"A juicy look at campus mores...Kwon delivers a poignant and powerful look into the millenial mindset." -NPR Books

"Certain literary circles have been buzzing about R.O. Kwon's The Incendiaries for months. And this slim, intense novel is the rare book that lives up to its pre-publication hype." -Los Angeles Times

"One of those slim novels that contains multitudes, R.O. Kwon's debut novel shows how unreliable we are as narrators when we're trying to invent - and reinvent - ourselves." -Vulture

"If you haven't had a chance to pick up one of the buzziest novels of summer, take Emma Roberts' - and my - word for it: you can't miss The Incendiaries." -Bustle

"In R.O. Kwon's terrific new novel The Incendiaries, a cultist looks for meaning in tragedy. Kwon's debut is a shiningly ambitious look at how human beings try to fill the holes in their lives." -Vox

"Kwon's lush imaginative project ... [is to expose] the reactionary impulses that run through American life...[creating] an impression of the mysterious social forces and private agonies that might drive a person to extremes." -The New Republic

"The main attraction and reward of this book is Kwon's prose. Spiky, restless and nervously perceptive, it exhales spiritual unease." -Wall Street Journal

"Kwon's multi-faceted narrative portrays America's dark, radical strain, exploring the lure of fundamentalism, our ability to be manipulated, and what can happen when we're willing to do anything for a cause." -Atlantic.com

"Deeply engrossing."-PBS Books

"Remarkable...Every page blooms with sensuous language...These are characters in quiet crisis, burning, above all, to know themselves, and Kwon leads them, confidently, to an enthralling end."-Paris Review

"A God-haunted, willful, strange book written with a kind of savage elegance. I've said it before, but now I'll shout it from the rooftops: R. O. Kwon is the real deal."
-Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies and Florida

"Every explosive requires a fuse. That's R. O. Kwon's novel, a straight, slow-burning fuse. To read her novel is to follow an inexorable flame coming closer and closer to the object it will detonate-the characters, the crime, the story, and, ultimately, the reader."
-Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer and The Refugees

"The Incendiaries probes the seductive and dangerous places to which we drift when loss unmoors us. In dazzlingly acrobatic prose, R. O. Kwon explores the lines between faith and fanaticism, passion and violence, the rational and the unknowable."
-Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You

"Absolutely electric, something new in the firmament. Everyone should read this book."
-Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

"A swift, sensual novel about the unraveling of a collegiate relationship and its aftermath. Kwon writes gracefully about the spiritual insecurities of millennials."
-Karan Mahajan, author of The Association of Small Bombs

"A classic love
Portrait
R. O. Kwon is a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. Her writing is published or forthcoming in The Guardian , Vice, Buzzfeed, Time, Noon, Electric Literature , Playboy, and elsewhere. She has received awards from Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, Omi International, the Steinbeck Center, and the Norman Mailer Writers' Colony. Born in South Korea, she has lived most of her life in the United States.
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  • 1.

    Will

    They'd have gathered on a rooftop in Noxhurst to watch the explosion. Platt Hall, I think, eleven floors up: I know his ego, and he'd have picked the tallest point he could. So often, I've imagined how they felt, waiting. With six minutes left, the slant light of dusk reddened the high old spiresof the college, the level gables of its surrounding town. They poured festive wine into big-bellied glasses. Hands shaking, they laughed. She would sit apart from this reveling group, cross-legged on the roof's west ledge. Three minutes to go, two, one.

    The Phipps building fell. Smoke plumed, the breath of God. Silence followed, then the group's shouts of triumph. Wine glasses clashed together, flashing martial light. He sang the first bars of a Jejah psalm. Others soon joined in. Carillon bells chimed, distant birds blowing white, strewn, like dandelion tufts, an outsize wish. It must have been then that John Leal came to her side. In his bare feet, he closed his arm around her shoulders. She flinched, looking up at him. I can imagine how he'd have tightened his hold, telling her she'd done well, though before long, it would be time to act again, to do a little more-

    But this is where I start having trouble, Phoebe. Buildings fell. People died. You once told me I hadn't even tried to understand. So, here I am, trying.

    2.

    John Leal

    Once John Leal left Noxhurst, halfway through his last term of college, he drifted until he ended up in Yanji, China. In this city, adjacent to North Korea, he began working with an activist group that smuggled Korean refugees toward asylum in Seoul. He'd found his life's work, he thought.

    Instead, he was kidnapped by North Korean agents, spirited across the border, and thrown into a prison camp outside of Pyongyang. In the stories he later told the group, he said the gulag brutalities were bad enough, but at least they'd been expected. What astonished him was the allegiance his fellow inmates showed toward the lunatic despot whose policies had installed them in their cells. They'd been jailed because, oh, they'd splashed a drop of tea on his newsprint portrait. A neighbor claimed to have overheard them whistling a South Korean pop song. Punished for absurdities, they still maintained that the beloved sovereign, a divine being, couldn't be to blame. At first, he assumed this was lip service, the prisoners afraid to say otherwise. But then, he thought of the refugees he'd met in Yanji, how they talked of loving the god they'd fled. They attributed the regime's troubles to anyone but the sole person in charge.

    A month into John Leal's time in the gulag, prison guards held an optional foot race, the prize a framed icon of the despot. In the confusion, those who fell were trampled. One child died of a broken spine. Through howls of pain, he shouted hosannahs for his lord. They weren't lying, the poor fools. They believed in the man as one might believe in Jesus Christ. Some people needed leading. In or out of the gulag, they craved faith. But think if the tyrant had been as upright as his disciples trusted him to be. The heights he'd have achieved, if he loved them-if, John Leal thought, until his idea began.

    3.

    Phoebe

    I hoped I'd be a piano genius, Phoebe told the group, in the first Jejah confession she tried giving. She'd have sat in the circle, holding a kidskin journal. Though I'd driven Phoebe here, I was outside, going home. It's a mistake. I should have stayed, but I didn't. Instead, I'll add what details I can. The full lips, spit-polished. She licked them, tense. I'm striving to picture it: Phoebe, talking. The thin, long-fingered hands folded tight. She looked down, inhaled.

    But I didn't just wait, she said. I expected, no, I wanted to work for it. I spilled time into the piano as I'd have put cash in a bank. I saw full concert halls in the future, solo recitals. Front-page plaudits. I practiced Liszt
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 224
Erscheinungsdatum 31.07.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-525-54022-9
Verlag Penguin LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 20.3/12.8/1.7 cm
Gewicht 208 g
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Fr. 19.90
Fr. 19.90
inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
zzgl. Versandkosten
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