Parnassus Books is thrilled to welcome Jonathan Miles to present Anatomy of a Miracle. Miles will be in conversation with Dwight Garner of The New York Times. Cocktails will be lovingly provided by Cathead Distillery.
With his widely praised novels Dear American Airlines and Want Not, Jonathan Miles established himself as one of the most insightful and original voices in modern American fiction. His exquisite new novel Anatomy of a Miracle cements his reputation as a storyteller of rare sensibility and intellectual curiosity. Brilliantly written and powerfully executed, Anatomy of a Miracle does nothing less than render the supernatural tangible, as one man struggles with the possibility—and the consequences—of a miracle in his own life. At once universal and intimate, transcendent and grounded, Miles’ unforgettable novel will touch your heart and bring you face-to-face with extraordinary hope, with profound doubt, and with the ultimate question: How would you react if a miracle happened to you?
Rendered paraplegic after a traumatic event in Afghanistan, army veteran Cameron Harris has resigned himself to his new existence living alongside his sister and caretaker, Tanya, in their battered Biloxi, Mississippi, neighborhood, where only half the houses made it through Hurricane Katrina. But one stiflingly hot August afternoon, as Cameron sits waiting for Tanya during their daily run to the Biz-E-Bee convenience store, he has a strange feeling—and then he suddenly and inexplicably rises up and out of his wheelchair.
In the aftermath of this “miracle,” Cameron finds himself a celebrity at the center of a contentious debate about what’s actually taken place. And when scientists, journalists, and a Vatican investigator start digging, Cameron’s deepest secrets—the key to his injury, to his identity, and, in some eyes, to the nature of his recovery—become increasingly endangered. Was Cameron’s recovery a genuine divine miracle, a medical breakthrough, or something else entirely? And, finding himself transformed overnight into a symbol onto whom strangers project their own hopes and fears, how can he hope to retain his humanity?
Masterfully written as closely observed journalistic reportage and filtered through the perspectives of the vibrant characters affected by Cameron’s story, Anatomy of a Miracle finds Miles at his mesmerizing best. Deeply grounded in time and place, Miles’ finely wrought observations and expansive, generous vision nonetheless engage with questions of fate, fortune, and whether there’s a higher purpose for all—or any—of us. Anatomy of a Miracle is a radiant new novel that will be read, championed, and celebrated as a powerful story of our time, and as the work of a true literary master.
Jonathan Miles is the author of the novels Dear American Airlines and Want Not, both New York Times Notable Books. He is a former columnist for the New York Times, he has served as a contributing editor to magazines ranging from Details to Field & Stream, and his journalism has been frequently anthologized in Best American Sports Writing and Best American Crime Writing. He is also the author of a book on fish and game cookery, The Wild Chef, and competed in the Dakar Rally, an off-road race through Africa.
Dwight Garner is a book critic for The New York Times. He was also, for many years, an editor for The New York Times Book Review. His essays and criticism have also appeared in The New Republic, Harper’s, Slate and elsewhere.