The Tree of the Doves

The Tree of the Doves
Nonfiction

The Tree of the Doves

Ceremony, Expedition, War
“An original vision of nation, of art, and of the sacred.” —MONA SIMPSON
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Composed in the key of terror, The Tree of the Doves offers an engaging account of Christopher Merrill’s travels to distant parts of the world. From jungle to desert to sea, from cities to ruins, he explores how history is shaped by ceremonies, expeditions, and wars. He observes the performance of a banned ritual in Malaysia, retraces Saint-John Perse’s epic journey from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, and tours the Levant in the wake of the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Encountering a wide range of people along the way—artists and politicians, soldiers and refugees—Merrill is as attentive to their individuality as he is attuned to the historical, social, and cultural situations in which they find themselves.

In three extended essays, he poses fundamental but nonetheless provocative questions­­—Where do we come from? Where are we going? What shall we do?—which lead him to conclude that the changes we are witnessing now presage the end of one order and the creation of another.

Lively and insightful, empathetic and illuminating, The Tree of the Doves is an important book, as contemporary as it is timeless.

ISBN:
978-1-57131-305-8
Publish Date: 
10/11/2011
Pages: 
328
Size: 
5.93 × 8.81 × 1 in
Weight: 
18.8 oz

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