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Book Information: Archivist, the

Archivist, the (1998) [Novel]
by Martha Cooley Rating: No votes (Rate!)
Reviews: None (show them) Review!

Summary :

Matthias is a librarian, a man of orderly ways, responsible for safeguarding a sealed cache of T.S. Elliot's letters. Roberta is a young poet with an unabashed and oddly intense interest in the letters. What begins as a battle of wills soon evolves into an unlikely friendship—a relationship that not only unsettles Matthias's solitary life but forces him to confront long-buried memories of his wife, her mental breakdown, and the dissolution of their marriage. Propelled by startling truths hidden and revealed, this extraordinary novel draws richly upon the poems of T.S. Elliot and the intellectual and social climate of postwar New York City as it explores the redemptive power of art and the challenge of forging a moral and meaningful life in the modern world.

Original title: The Archivist
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionGeneral FictionBooks, Scholars, And Librarians


  • Cover design by Amy Goldfarb
  • In memory of my grandmother, Eleanor Strother Cooley (1886-1986), who read me poems

Edition #1: Archivist, the

Archivist, the (1998)
Edition Details:

Language: English

  • "Cooley has given us something valuable and rare." New York Times Book Review
  • "Engrossing... rarely has a novel centering on the life of the mind felt so passionate." Megan Harlan, Entertainment Weekly
  • "Comelling... Cooley's suave plotting displays many surprises, and her wrok exhibits that rarest of literary qualities nowadays, authentic moral resonance." Robert Taylor, Boston Globe
  • "A literary detective story... beautifully paced and gripping... An impressive debut." Christina Patterson, The Observer (London)
  • "It is rare and gratifying to read a novel about peoople whot take literature seriously, who practically live and die by books... The Archivist is a memorable achievement." Steven Moore, Washington Post Book World
  • "The Archivist is many things: a speculative academic mystery; a meditation on obsession; a study of madness; a soliloquy to solitude. Cooley weaves all these genres together with nary a dropped stitch." Miranda Schwartz, Hungry Mind Review
  • "A solid accomplishement... Martha Cooley has looke bak in time with a steady, penetrating gaze.... Fans of literary fiction will want to make the acquaintance of the talented Ms. Cooley." Adam Begley, New York Observer
  • "Sublime... supremely satisfying.... As Cooley's characters relate to Eliot's verse, it comes alive, igniting their passion and touching their troubled souls." Stephanie Barna, Charleston City Paper
  • "An imaginative and compassionate novel... that probes complex questions—about love, religious faith, and the conflict between a writer's desire for privacy and the reader's hunger for revalations." Merle Rubin, Christian Science Monitor
  • "Marvelous... Like Eliot, The Archivist is an intellectual journey... withut much effort. Ping, ping, ping, the ideas bang off each other; not irony, exactly, just images set agianst others, things that seem contradictory, yet between them there is a spark that leaves behind some certain truth. It's a hard thing to accomplish, unless you're T.S. Elliot—or Martha Cooley." James T. Cain, Hartford Courant
  • "A marvelously old-fashioned novel.... Cooley handles her intricatley structured multiple stories with calm assurance and the quiet passion of a born lyricist." Ella Taylor, LA Weekly
  • "Remarkable.... Though Cooely has twinned the tales of poets and madness, Christians and Jews, caretakers and gatekeeprs and betrayers, the stories never appear contrived, only very, very human." Martha Baker, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • "It's a rare and special treat to disvoer a debut work as impressive as The Archivist. A splendid work of fiction, rich with character and conflict, masterfully blending past and present...." Dolores Donner, Fort Worth Star Telegram
  • "A tale of astonishing insight... brilliant and unsettling." Reform Judaism [???—Ed.]
  • "In this, her sumptuous first novel, Martha Cooley weaves together an elaborate cloth of twentieth-century history... in order to probe the shifting disposition and configuration of obsession, memory, and madness." Harvey Grossinger, Houston Chronicle
  • "A provocative, carefully paced, intelligent story of lovee and the pathology of repression.... Most novelists might publish a shelf full of books before approaching the eloquence and command found in The Archivist." Floyd Skloot, Portland Oregonian
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Manifested in:

Archivist, the (1998)

ISBN: 0316158461

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