This is the dazzling first novel in a series that will certainly take its place amongst the great books of our time.
Reengaging the ideas of alternate lives, worlds, and worldviews that pulsed through his remarkable Little, Big, John Crowley’s Agypt series is a landmark in contemporary fiction. The series helped earn Crowley the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and Harold Bloom installed the first two books in the series in his 1993 Western canon. Now, following the Spring 2007 hardcover release of the final book in the series (Endless Things), Overlook is bringing the entire tetralogy back into print and, for the first time, presenting it as a real series. In The Solitudes, the opening of the series, we are introduced to Pierce Moffett, an unorthodox historian and an expert in ancient astrology, myths, and superstition. The land that Moffett studies is not the real, geographical Egypt but Agypt, a country of the imagination. When Moffett discovers the historical novels of local writer Fellowes Kraft, his course is charted. Kraft s books interweave stories of Italian heretic Giordano Bruno, young Will Shakespeare, and Elizabethan occultist John Dee stories that begin to mingle with the narrative of Moffett’s real and dream life in 1970s America. As Moffett’s journey in and out of his comfortable reality continues, what becomes clear is revelatory: there is more than one history of the world.