The Archivist is a debut novel of remarkable depth and power. Set in the hushed world of a prestigious American university, it weaves a story of love and loss, recognition and redemption. Matthias Lane, 65, is the university's orderly archivist. Graduate student Roberta Spire, 35, is determined to gain access to some of the collection's sealed letters-ones written by T.S. Eliot to his close friend, Emily Hale. Roberta believes they hold the keys to Eliot's religious conversion, his wife's suicide, and his emotional detachment. As Matthias considers Roberta's request, he is confronted with the eerie parallels between the poet's life and his own. Narrator George Guidall voices each emotional and psychological shift in the archivist's revelations. When Suzanne Toren joins him to relate a journal kept by Matthias' wife before her death, this chronicle adds an unforgettable dimension to an assured and thoughtful novel.
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"Matthias Lane, archivist of a prominent university and guardian of Emily Hale's letters to T.S. Eliot, meets Roberta Spire, a graduate student and poet, who is curious about Emily Hale and her relationship with Eliot. The theme of this tale of intellectual intimacy is the power of love, religious conversion and personal identity. Guidall envelops the listener in these interconnected lives, disappearing into the background as the characters gain shape. Toren reads the diary of Matthias's deceased wife, whose life strangely mirrors that of Viviene Eliot, wife of T.S. Eliot. Amidst it all, Cooley brings to life the purpose, drive and love of archivists and librarians, as expressed by Matthias Lane. Haunting and passionate, Guidall captures the essence of what motivates and inspires creative intellectuals. M.B.K. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine"
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