OK, Mr. Field : a novel

by Kilalea, Katharine,

Format: Print Book 2018
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 5 of 5 copies
Available (5)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library First Floor - Fiction Stacks FICTION Kilalea
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - Fiction Stacks
Call Number  FICTION Kilalea
Monroeville Public Library Fiction KILALEA KATHARINE
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Fiction KILALEA Katharine
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  KILALEA Katharine
Northern Tier Regional Library Fiction FIC KILAL
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC KILAL
Northland Public Library Fiction FIC KILALEA
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC KILALEA
A mesmerizing debut novel about a concert pianist who fears he is losing his mind

Mr. Field wants a new life, a life cleansed of the old one's disappointments. A concert pianist on the London scene, his career is upended when the train he is travelling on crashes into the wall at the end of a tunnel. The accident splinters his left wrist, jeopardizing his musical ambitions. On a whim, he uses his compensation pay-out to buy a house he has seen only once in a newspaper photograph, a replica of Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye on a stretch of coast outside Cape Town. Together with his wife, Mim, Mr. Field sets out in the hope that the house will make him happier, or at least less unhappy.

But as time passes, the house--which Le Corbusier designed as "a machine for living"--begins to have a disturbing effect on Mr. Field. Its narrow windows educate him in the pleasures of frustrated desire. Its sequence of spaces, which seem to lead toward and away from their destinations at once, mirror his sense of being increasingly cut off from the world and from other people. When his wife inexplicably leaves him, Mr. Field can barely summon the will to search for her. Alone in the decaying house, he finds himself unglued from reality and possessed by a longing for a perverse kind of intimacy.

OK, Mr. Field is a strange and beguiling novel that dwells in the silences between words, in the gaps in conversation, and in the unbridgeable distance between any two people. Through her restless intelligence and precise, musical prose, Katharine Kilalea confidently guides us into new fictional territory.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Modernist architecture and the properties of water inform this poetic tale about a concert pianist who, following the abrupt end of his career and his marriage, becomes increasingly disoriented by his surroundings. His wrist mangled in a train crash, Mr. Field impulse-spends his settlement money on the House for the Study of Water, a Le Corbusier-inspired curiosity perched high above a rugged coast near Cape Town. The house implies the victory of architecture over nature, but its views of the sea are constrained by narrow horizontal windows, and its stark geometry of glass and concrete seems intended to confound those who, like our protagonist, tend to linger in moments of reverie. Mr. Field fixates on leaks in the ceiling, the ever-changing ocean, and the musical clamor of a nearby construction site while indulging in a pretend conversation with Hannah Kallenbach, the estranged wife of the building's designer. Although his obsessions create a gentle forward momentum, the focus is on his fragile, impressionistic state of mind. In her first novel, distinguished poet Kilalea describes Mr. Field's emotions in a devastatingly evocative fashion.--Driscoll, Brendan Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Kilalea's striking, singular debut constructs an eerie world of replicas, repetitions, and doubles that contrasts the utopian ideals of a modernist house with the irreversibly damaged soul who inhabits it. Narrator Mr. Field is close to inhuman, a lethargic obsessive recovering from a traumatic injury that ends his career as a concert pianist. He retires to one of three replicas of a modernist masterpiece, Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye, in Cape Town, South Africa. Perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean, the house is a "grand white box... rising from the rocks on its thin white stilts as if signifying, albeit tenuously, the victory of architecture over nature." Meanwhile, a developer begins construction on a fanciful housing project next door, a "tower of cowsheds" rising up into the clouds, as Mr. Field's life and home fall into disrepair. Mr. Field's wife, Mim, vanishes, leaving behind cryptic notes about the sea; the house's windows fall out and weeds encroach; and Mr. Field hears the voice of the villa's former occupant in his head, then tirelessly stalks her in real life. The novel is as opaque as its central character, but Kilalela maintains a balance between formal control and the irrational mystery of a man who is a "stranger to [him]self." The result is a disorienting and enthralling descent into one man's peculiar malaise. Agent: Anna Webber, United Agents. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Pianists -- Fiction.
Dwellings -- Fiction.
Solitude -- Psychological aspects -- Fiction.
Hallucinations and illusions -- Fiction.
Married people -- Fiction.
Railroad accidents -- Fiction.
Cape Town (South Africa) -- Fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Publisher New York :Tim Duggan Books,2018
Edition First U.S. edition.
Other Titles Okay, Mr. Field
OK, Mister Field
Okay, Mister Field
Language English
Description 218 pages ; 20 cm
ISBN 9780525573630
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