All the Light
We Cannot See

The highly acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize–Winning Novel by Anthony Doerr

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Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History where he works. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea.

In a German mining town, an orphan named Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. He becomes expert at fixing these new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the Resistance.

Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, and winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel.

The beautiful, stunningly ambitious New York Times bestseller that has enthralled more than a million readers about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

It’s hard to choose a favorite passage from this beautiful novel. Here are some of ours…

Photo © Shauna Doerr

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Anthony Doerr is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. He is also the author of two story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won four O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

About Grace: A Novel

David Winkler begins life in Anchorage, Alaska, a quiet boy drawn to the volatility of weather and obsessed with snow. Sometimes he sees things before they happen—a man carrying a hatbox will be hit by a bus; Winkler will fall in love with a woman in a supermarket. When David dreams that his infant daughter will drown in a flood as he tries to save her, he comes undone. He travels thousands of miles, fleeing family, home, and the future itself, to deny the dream.

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Memory Wall: Stories

Set on four continents, Anthony Doerr's stories are about memory, the source of meaning and coherence in our lives, the fragile thread that connects us to ourselves and to others. Every hour, says Doerr, all over the globe, an infinite number of memories disappear. Yet at the same time children, surveying territory that is entirely new to them, push back the darkness, form fresh memories, and remake the world. Every story in Memory Wall is a reminder of the grandeur of life—of the mysterious beauty of seeds, of fossils, of sturgeon, of clouds, of radios, of leaves, of the breathtaking fortune of living in this universe.

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The Shell Collector: Stories

The exquisitely crafted stories in Anthony Doerr’s debut collection take readers from the African Coast to the pine forests of Montana to the damp moors of Lapland, charting a vast physical and emotional landscape. Doerr explores the human condition in all its varieties—metamorphosis, grief, fractured relationships, and slowly mending hearts—conjuring nature in both its beautiful abundance and crushing power. Some of the characters in these stories contend with hardships; some discover unique gifts; all are united by their ultimate deference to the ravishing universe outside themselves.

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Four Seasons in Rome: A Memoir

Exquisitely observed, Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr's adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world after he wins the Rome Prize and takes up a year-long residency with his family. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats—the chroniclers of Rome who came before him—and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He and his family are embraced by butchers, grocers, and bakers, whose clamor of stories and idiosyncratic advice is as compelling as the city itself. This intimate and revelatory book is a celebration of Rome, a wondrous look at parenthood, and a fascinating story of a writer's craft.

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Make All the Light We Cannot See part of your book club with this complete guide for discussion.

View the Reading Group Guide for All The Light We Cannot See

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