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Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr (Paperback)

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Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr Cover Image
By John Crowley, Melody Newcomb (Illustrator)
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Staff Reviews

There’s a certain quality about this book that I can’t really put into words. I would say dreamlike or hallucinatory, but those don’t quite fit because Dar Oakley is far too vivid of a character. He cuts through the veils of time, loss, and death, continually showing the reader, the people he encounters, and himself how fleeting and fragile reality truly is. His countless lives and deaths teach him things that change who he is at his core, and in those changes one can see the changes that we all experience during our lives. This isn’t some anthropocentric story of a crow gaining human capacities, however; it is the story of consciousness progressing, with all of the memory, pain, love, growth, hate, loss, and beauty that entails. It is a beautifully written, deeply intelligent, and incredibly solemn ode to life, death, and everything in between that will leave you both heartbroken and awestruck by the power of a good story.  And, I can guarantee you will never see a crow in the same light again.

— From David's Picks


Ka is a beautiful, often dreamlike late masterpiece.” —Los Angeles Times

“One of our country’s absolutely finest novelists.” —Peter Straub, New York Times bestselling author of Interior Darkness and Ghost Story

From award-winning author John Crowley comes an exquisite fantasy novel about a man who tells the story of a crow named Dar Oakley and his impossible lives and deaths in the land of Ka.

A Crow alone is no Crow.

Dar Oakley—the first Crow in all of history with a name of his own—was born two thousand years ago. When a man learns his language, Dar finally gets the chance to tell his story. He begins his tale as a young man, and how he went down to the human underworld and got hold of the immortality meant for humans, long before Julius Caesar came into the Celtic lands; how he sailed West to America with the Irish monks searching for the Paradise of the Saints; and how he continuously went down into the land of the dead and returned. Through his adventures in Ka, the realm of Crows, and around the world, he found secrets that could change the humans’ entire way of life—and now may be the time to finally reveal them.

About the Author

John Crowley was born in the appropriately liminal town of Presque Isle, Maine in 1942, his father then an officer in the US Army Air Corps. He grew up in Vermont, northeastern Kentucky and (for the longest stretch) Indiana, where he went to high school and college. He moved to New York City after college to make movie and found work in documentary films, an occupation he still pursues. He published his first novel The Deep in 1975, and his fifteenth volume of fiction, Four Freedoms, in 2009. Since 1993 he has taught creative writing at Yale University. In 1992 he received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 2006 he was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. He finds it more gratifying that almost all his work is still in print.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781481495608
ISBN-10: 1481495607
Publisher: Gallery / Saga Press
Publication Date: July 24th, 2018
Pages: 464
Language: English