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The sparrow
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Where is it?
A visionary work that combines speculative fiction with deep philosophical inquiry, The Sparrow tells the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads a scientific mission entrusted with a profound task: to make first contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life. The mission begins in faith, hope, and beauty, but a series of small misunderstandings brings it to a catastrophic end.

Praise for The Sparrow

"A startling, engrossing, and moral work of fiction." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them." -- Entertainment Weekly

"Powerful . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Provocative, challenging . . . recalls both Arthur C. Clarke and H. G. Wells, with a dash of Ray Bradbury for good measure." -- The Dallas Morning News

"[Mary Doria] Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense." -- USA Today
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Booklist Review
When readers meet Father Emilio Sandoz, he's a wreck, inside and out. His hands are maimed, his body bruised; he suffers from scurvy, anemia, and spiritual devastation. The year is 2059. Although Jesuit missionaries thrive on suffering, something particularly dire has happened to this skilled linguist. Four decades earlier, he proposed an expedition to discover the sentient beings whose strange yet beautiful music had been detected by radio telescope. As the only survivor of this spiritual odyssey to Alpha Centauri (the star system four light years from Earth), Sandoz was found dazed and filled with terror by rescuers who inferred that he had resorted to prostitution to stay alive. Returned to the Jesuit Order, Sandoz is forced to face truths about the godless alien societies on the planet Rakhat that he and his colleagues grew to know, love, and perish at the claws of. Miscommunications, misplaced trust, and tiny mistakes led to their downfall. The dense prose in this complex tale may at first seem off-putting, but hang on for the ride; it's riveting! Russell's first novel is also a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. (Reviewed Sept. 1, 1996)0679451501Jennifer Henderson
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