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Ethan Canin Biography

(1961– ), Emperor of the Air, Blue River, The Palace Thief

collection

American novelist, born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, educated at Harvard, where he studied medicine. His first collection of short stories, Emperor of the Air (1988), was followed by Blue River (1991), a novel about the lifelong rivalry between two brothers—one a successful ophthalmic surgeon, the other a hopeless drifter, and by The Palace Thief (1994), a collection of four thematically linked novellas, each focusing on a moment of ‘uproar and disorder’ in the life of its protagonist. His style, which is spare and lucid, with occasional flashes of lyricism, has been compared to Updike's; he is similarly concerned with the epiphanies which occur in ordinary lives, specifically those of suburban America.

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