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The Darling

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  2,091 Ratings  ·  265 Reviews
Russell Banks brings to life in The Darling another political-historical narrative of great scope and range. As in Continental Drift and Rule of the Bone, racial issues are explored; as in Cloudsplitter, idealism runs off the rails. Banks always makes it work because he keeps it real.

The "darling" of the story is Dawn Carrington, neé Hannah Musgrave, a political radical a

Paperback, 392 pages
Published October 11th 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published October 12th 2004)
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Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : The Darling - Nevisande : Russell Banks - ISBN : 60957352 - ISBN13 : 9780060957353 - Dar 400 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2004
4.5 stars - a really fabulous book - set in the Liberian Civil War, Hannah, ex-weather..., underground. Banks, who is male, chooses to write about a woman in the first person -- and at first it's a bit weird - but in the end, he makes it work. If you're looking for something contemporary with bite and depth, a book about a life poised over the voids of history... you might like it. Nighly rec'd. Banks writes well -- realism -- yet a fine, fine writer.
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is a scarier version of Philip Roth’s “American Pastoral” in which the indulged upper middle class daughter rejects her comfortable surroundings in suburbia and joins a group of radicals to bring about a utopian socialist society in America, with disastrous consequences.

Hannah Musgrave, the errant darling of the ‘70’s, is nearing her sixtieth year in the early 21st century, and is reflecting on where her idealism and search for purpose has led her. Firstly, she is not a particularly s
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: non girly-girl women
the woman's point of view is so well done in this book that it's hard to believe it was authored by a man. i simultaneously loved and loathed the main character. the fact that it's historically accurate, and that charles taylor, who is featured prominently in the novel, has been in the press recently, make it all the more interesting.
War, massacre and menage a trois (thanks to LC for coining this phrase!). That pretty much sums up this disappointing book by the author of the great "The Sweet Hereafter". "The Darling" is long-winded, self indulgent, and at times, quite unrealistic. The protagonist is a white woman who fled to Liberia after creating and setting off a few bombs for the Weather Underground. We are constantly reminded of her mindset (and her bed mates) and she doesn't come off as an authentic female character, bu ...more
Lena Webb
Jul 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have incredibly disturbing thoughts about primates, and this book didn't help me out one bit.
Friederike Knabe
Mar 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa, us-lit
"There are certain things about me that I won't reveal to you until you understand...", Hannah Musgrave tells her readers. She is the central axis of this rich and engaging tale of one woman's journey from a privileged childhood to a quiet life on a farm in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. The interim period, however, is dramatic and unconventional. She drops out of her middle class life as a young student, frustrated with the comfort of that life and the people around her. Joining ...more
Stephen Wallant
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK No. Anyone who says anything about this book is wrong. This book is about this girl in the weather underground, like your parents? And Forrest Gump. So she goes underground. But she's not like the girl in American Pastoral who becomes totally annoying and pisses everyone off. Not that she didn't piss a LOT of people off. So she goes into hiding, and fucks off to Africa. Aggra. Agra. Ghana! Word, I TOTALLY want to go to Agra, Ghana after reading this book.

OK so she's hiding out. And who is she
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
There aren't many Liberian authors - something like three, according to Wikipedia - and there aren't many books set there either. If you want a good idea of what the deal is with Liberia, where it is and what happened in its recent history, this is an excellent book for educating yourself.

Hannah Musgrove is a well-educated American with a famous doctor for a father and a fluttering, apparently silly woman for a mother. It's the 60s, and just before finishing her medical degree she drops out and
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who is the protagonist of Russell Banks’s 2004 novel The Darling? Is it Hannah Musgrave, the privileged daughter of a famous New England child-rearing expert? Perhaps Dawn Carrington, the political radical and member of the Weather Underground---a woman who forges passports, builds bombs, and is ultimately forced to flee America to avoid imprisonment? Maybe the novel’s protagonist/anti-heroine is Mrs. Woodrow Sundiata, the wife of Liberia’s Assistant Minister of Public Health? Hannah/Dawn/Mrs. S ...more
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Russell Banks is a member of the International Parliament of Writers and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous international prizes and awards. He has written fiction, and more recently, non-fiction, with Dreaming up America. His main works include the novels Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone, Cloudsplit ...more
More about Russell Banks...
“my blue eyes peering into their brown eyes and seeing there some essential part of myself, some irreducible aspect of my being, which in turn gave them back the same reflected version of themselves” 2 likes
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