|Publisher||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|Media type||Print (hardcover)|
|LC Class||PS3566.O92 E27 2006|
|Preceded by||The Time of Our Singing|
The Echo Maker is a 2006 novel by American writer Richard Powers. It won the National Book Award for Fictionand was a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist.
On a winter night on a remote Nebraska road, twenty-seven-year-old Mark Schluter flips his truck in a near-fatal accident. His older sister, Karin, his only near kin, returns reluctantly to their hometown to nurse Mark back from a traumatic head injury. But when he emerges from a protracted coma, Mark believes that this woman — who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister — is really an impostor. Shattered by her brother's refusal to recognize her, Karin contacts the cognitive neurologist Gerald Weber, famous for his case histories describing brain disorders. Weber recognized Mark's condition as a rare case of Capgras syndrome — the delusion that people in one's life are doubles or impostors — and eagerly investigates.
What he discovers in Mark slowly undermines even his own sense of being. Meanwhile, Mark, armed only with a note left by an anonymous witness, attempts to learn what happened the night of his inexplicable accident.
According to Richard Powers,
[The] aim in The Echo Maker is to put forward, at the same time, a glimpse of the solid, continuous, stable, perfect story we try to fashion about the world and about ourselves, while at the same time to lift the rug and glimpse the amorphous, improvised, messy, crack-strewn, gaping thing underneath all that narration. To this end, my technique was what some scholars of narrative have called double voicing. Every section of the book (until a few passages at the end) is so closely focalized through Mark, Karin, or Weber that even the narration of material event is voiced entirely through their cognitive process: the world is nothing more than what these sensibilities assemble, without any appeal to outside authority.
In a review in the New York Review of Books, Margaret Atwood described the novel's "underlying sketch" as being from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz .
Colson Whitehead, writing in The New York Times, called it a "post-911 novel .. not an elegy for How We Used to Live or a salute to Coming to Grips, but a quiet exploration of how we survive, day to day."
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It recognizes distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, published during the preceding calendar year. As the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel, it was one of the original Pulitzers; the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year.
Oliver Wolf Sacks, was a British neurologist, naturalist, historian of science, and writer. Born in Britain, Sacks received his medical degree from The Queen's College, Oxford in 1960, before moving to the United States, where he spent most of his career. He then interned at Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco and completed his residency in neurology and neuropathology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After a fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he served as neurologist at Beth Abraham Hospital's chronic-care facility in the Bronx, where he worked with a group of survivors of the 1920s sleeping sickness encephalitis lethargica, who had been unable to move on their own for decades. His treatment of those patients became the basis of his 1973 book Awakenings, which was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film in 1990, starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.
Richard Powers is an American novelist whose works explore the effects of modern science and technology. His novel The Echo Maker won the 2006 National Book Award for Fiction. He has also won many other awards over the course of his career, including a MacArthur Fellowship. As of 2018, Powers has published twelve novels and has taught at the University of Illinois and Stanford University. He won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Overstory.
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Capgras delusion is a psychiatric disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member has been replaced by an identical impostor. It is named after Joseph Capgras (1873–1950), a French psychiatrist.
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John Errington Moss is a Canadian author. Notable for the Quin and Morgan novels that he began after teaching for many years at the University of Ottawa, he has lectured on Canadian literature in Europe, the United States, Japan, Greenland, and the Canary Islands. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
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The Underground Railroad is a historical fiction novel by American author Colson Whitehead, published by Doubleday in 2016. The alternate history novel tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves in the antebellum South during the 19th century, who make a bid for freedom from their Georgia plantation by following the Underground Railroad, which the novel depicts as a rail transport system with safe houses and secret routes. The book was a critical and commercial success, hitting the bestseller lists and winning several literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award for Fiction, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence. A TV miniseries adaptation, written and directed by Barry Jenkins, was released in May 2021.
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The Nickel Boys is a 2019 novel by American novelist Colson Whitehead. It is based on the real story of the Dozier School, a reform school in Florida that operated for 111 years and had its history exposed by a university's investigation. It was named one of TIME's best books of the decade. It is the follow-up to Whitehead's 2016 novel The Underground Railroad, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.