All the Living

All the Living

C.E. Morgan / Aug 18, 2019

All the Living A New York Times Book Review Editors ChoiceOne of the National Book Foundation s Best Writers Under Finalist for the Hemingway Foundation PEN Award for a distinguished book of fictionThird Place i

  • Title: All the Living
  • Author: C.E. Morgan
  • ISBN: 9780312429324
  • Page: 428
  • Format: Paperback
  • A New York Times Book Review Editors ChoiceOne of the National Book Foundation s 5 Best Writers Under 35Finalist for the Hemingway Foundation PEN Award for a distinguished book of fictionThird Place in Fiction for the Barnes Noble Discover AwardAloma is an orphan, raised by her aunt and uncle, educated at a mission school in the Kentucky mountains At the start of tA New York Times Book Review Editors ChoiceOne of the National Book Foundation s 5 Best Writers Under 35Finalist for the Hemingway Foundation PEN Award for a distinguished book of fictionThird Place in Fiction for the Barnes Noble Discover AwardAloma is an orphan, raised by her aunt and uncle, educated at a mission school in the Kentucky mountains At the start of the novel, she moves to an isolated tobacco farm to be with her lover, a young man named Orren, whose family has died in a car accident, leaving him in charge The place is rough and quiet Orren is overworked and withdrawn Left mostly to her own, Aloma struggles to settle herself in this lonely setting and to find beauty and stimulation where she can As she decides whether to stay with Orren, she will choose either to fight her way to independence or accept the rigors of commitment.Both a drama of age old conflicts and a portrait of modern life, C E Morgan s debut novel is simply astonishing a book about life force, the precious will to live, and all the things that can suck it right out of a person Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times.

    All the Living by C.E Morgan All the Living A Novel is a well written book that tells a simple story It fits neatly into the Gap Creek Plainsong genre which deals in the strife and sorrows of our country b First of all, a gripe. All the Living C E Morgan The book s title is scriptural, from Ecclesiastes Whoever is joined with all the living has hope C E Morgan has a degree in theology from the Harvard Divinity School and, as in GILEAD, one of her major characters is a preacher, Bell Johnson. All the Living ReadingGroupGuides All the Living Set in rural Kentucky, in a landscape that is by turns lush and isolating, this is the tale of a young woman named Aloma, who has always been left to fend for herself, and a grieving man named Orren, whose family died recently in an accident Together, Aloma and Orren try to invent a new life on the land he inherited. Summary and reviews of All the Living by C E Morgan All the Living has the timeless quality of a parable, but is also a perfect evocation of a time and place, a portrait of both age old conflicts and modern life It is an ode to the starve acre Southern farm, the mountain landscape, and difficult love. All the Living The New Yorker All the Living by C E Morgan Farrar, Straus Giroux This lyrical tale of grief and gruelling love on a tobacco farm takes place in the mid nineteen eighties but, if not for glimpses of All the Living by C.E Morgan Review BookPage C.E Morgan s gossamer debut novel, All the Living, tells a simple story with a graceful, probing style that elevates it far above simplicity.Chronicling a young woman s self discovery through the promise of love and the inevitable disappointments that ensue, Morgan s spare but intense narrative is a poetic meditation that burrows to our most basic human emotions. Review All the Living by CE Morgan Books The Guardian All the Living Volunteering her services as pianist at a nearby church, she begins a stirring friendship with its charismatic preacher, Bell The tension and enmities within Orren and Aloma s fledgling relationship, the oppressive landscape and a kind of generational resignation are all evoked in timeless Southern cadences and astonishing language.

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    About "C.E. Morgan"

      • C.E. Morgan

        C.E Morgan b 1976 is an American author She won the 2016 Windham Campbell Literature Prize, among other honors.As an undergraduate, Morgan studied voice at Berea College, a tuition free labor college for students from poor and working class backgrounds in Appalachia In exchange for a free education, all students work for the college while enrolled Morgan also attended Harvard Divinity School, where she studied literature and religion She wrote All the Living while at Harvard She lives in Kentucky.


    512 Comments

    1. This has been chosen as a February group read for the 21st Century Literature group, and I started it early. This is a very impressive debut novel, poignant and full of wonderfully atmospheric and poetic descriptions that really bring its remote Kentucky tobacco farm setting to life. To a British eye/ear, much of the language feels quite alien - there is plenty of local slang and Morgan does seem to like creative usages of nouns and adjectives as verbs. I don't want to say too much more now beca [...]


    2. This book really got under my skin and I'm finding it hard to pinpoint exactly why. The way Morgan uses language is lyrical and arresting, and the sense of place is exquisite. The book explores themes of love, belonging, grief and compromise, and the overall feeling it has left me with is a sort of wistful melancholy. I feel like I need to go back and read it all over again!


    3. This is the highest compliment I can pay to a book: I miss it. I finished it a a week ago but didn't have time to review till now. If Morgan had written a book thousands of pages long, I would read every one.This book exemplifies "quiet," that term all lit writers hate to hear when they submit to agents and editors, as it almost always comes with a rejection. I've never read a quieter novel than this one. Really only three characters. One setting. Nothing much happens. It's all the internal wres [...]


    4. I might have given this 3 stars if I based it solely on the story which is slow moving and where nothing seems to really happen . Then I thought about how much the writing conveyed and decided 3 stars wouldn't be fair . There's no need for me to give a synopsis of the book ; you can read that yourself . I can only tell you that I could see the drought on this tobacco farm probably somewhere in Kentucky. I could feel Aloma's emptiness , her desire for a happier life , her need to fill the void in [...]


    5. IT might seem strange to recommend a novel about a drought set in the U.S. south while we endure our northern flood.But a conflagration is a conflagration, and Kentuckian C.E. Morgan's All the Living is a damn fine distraction.This lean little novel, Morgan's first, tells the story of Aloma and Orren, a young couple who attempt to run the family farm after Orren's mother and brother die in a tragic accident. Two things get in their way: the drought that has settled over the region and the fact A [...]


    6. Non sapevo praticamente nulla di questo libro quando ho iniziato a leggerlo, eppure in qualche modo ha corrisposto alle mie aspettative, è rimasto fedele alle emozioni che mi ha trasmesso l'immagine di copertina.Cercavo una storia di natura (anche umana) desolata, solitaria e silenziosa ed è quello che ho avuto. Tutti i viventi è un romanzo lento, quasi senza trama, quasi senza dialoghi, quasi senza sviluppo narrativo, eppure si tratta di una lucida e acuta analisi dell'animo umano. Si parte [...]


    7. Just absolutely terrible. The style apes McCarthy, but misses all the gravity. Idle showboating without the boat, or the show for that matter.


    8. Oh, this is a beautiful and melancholic read. Astonishingly, so. The story is a timeless one. To Stay or To Go. The setting is a small town at the base of the mountains in Kentucky. The descriptions of farm life, church, love, and internal conflict are flawless. (It is in these descriptions that it is evident C.E. Morgan went to Divinity School at Harvard).The ending broke my heart. But I would read it again without a moment's hesitation.


    9. This book really affected me. It was all I could think about during the couple days I spent reading it, and it is still stuck in my head a week later. It made me think about whether love is just a matter of circumstance, and whether, in the search for freedom/happiness, it is ok to settle for mediocrity or what one is "comfortable" with. Morgan has a very distinct way of writing, which plays into the vivid imagery of the book. She uses words in a pleasantly strange way (not strangely pleasant) t [...]


    10. One measure of a fine writer is how much tension he or she might wring from an ordinary moment. Nothing much happens in this enthralling little book and yet the language held me under its sway. I might be tempted to call it a ballad for a vanished way of life, only I think the moments rendered in these pages could have happened in the long ago or some day in the future, because there are things about human beings that don't change from age to age, and good books capture just such truths. It's no [...]


    11. I read a lot of the reviews for this book and was prepared to be disappointed because of the hype but found myself intrigued. It's another one of those modern books without a lot of plot but Morgan more than makes up for it with her wonderful, subtle writing and her insight adjacent aha's. The ending surprised me as well. The main characters are a pair of kids who are forced to grow up fast and they chose to agree to hold up one another. They almost fail at this last but they almost succeed. The [...]


    12. After I finished this book, I looked up a few reviews of it. A word that seems to be used quite often is "thoughtful" and another is "quiet". For me, I'd add "claustrophobic": a very limited set of characters and very little that actually happens. My reaction was to want to escape, to get out to a bigger place, and I think this was at least partly the author's intent. There is some excellent writing that conveys time and place very well. But there is also some slightly annoying writing because t [...]


    13. This quiet little story was told so intimately I could almost hear her breathing - Aloma, the young woman who tells us about her days spent with herself in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. For most of the book I didn't know if I liked Aloma or not, but I knew absolutely that I could relate to her, and I wasn't always happy about that There were also moments throughout when simple sentences would sink into an awareness that I had never realized and yet suddenly recognized, and shared. [...]


    14. First of all, a gripe.I confess my aversion to books who condescendingly offer ridiculous titles like this oneAll the Living: A NovelDo we really need these qualifiers? Henceforth:Barack Obama: A PresidentTuna-Noodle Casserole: A FoodSo there. I do feel a bit better.On to my review, which is leaner than my complaint.All the Living (A Novel) is a well-written book that tells a simple story. It fits neatly into the Gap Creek/Plainsong genre which deals in the strife and sorrows of our country bret [...]


    15. CE Morgan's writing is a delight. Enough so to overpower some issues I had with pace and depth of character. But it reads more like a sketch (or a "snapshot in time" as my GR friend Linda so aptly put it). Morgan's sense of place and hardship dig under your nails with a poetic visceralness that stains. It's a fascinating exploration of struggle, love, and independence set against an unforgiving, rural '80s America.


    16. I am blown away by this story. All I can say is C.E. Morgan has written the richest and most beautiful story I have read in a long time. She has captured something extraordinary on paper--the people, the land, the smells, the heat, the fear, the joy, the sadness. Her writing is impeccable, readable, soul-searching. In the end, I felt like I was there, like I knew these people---what an excellent read! I'm afraid to try the next book on my list---it may pale in comparison.



    17. I loved this. Aloma is a mission-school educated orphan teaching piano in west Texas when she meets Oren (forgive the spelling mistakes, I listened to the audio version), a young farmer's son who is studying at Texas A&M. Aloma dreams of being a concert pianist and Oren of a large and successful farm, but both of their dreams are shattered when Oren's mother and brother, the only family he has left, are killed in a car accident and the two young lovers move back to the family farm. The influ [...]


    18. Wow. All the Living reads like a waking dream on a hot August afternoon. The language is a delerious mix of colloquialism and lyricism. Like Coomer's Decatur Road, I feel myself wanting to read it twice; once for the sheer enjoyment of the story and the second time to revel in the language. Ms. Morgan writes a story that seeps into you, permeates like the musk of the soil, envelopes the reader with the acrid scent of the farmstead and the heat of hard work and through it all Aloma's nervous fing [...]


    19. "We grieve and wonder how come the rain won't fall and we know there's a answer to that despair, because that despair is a question, it ain't a answer, that's what we got to remember: God is the answer, the four gospels is a answer to that despair and to where our spirits go. And yet--he paused, breathed, and said-- man will be to suffer. And his voice fell to nothing for a moment as he ruminated and placed one hand in his pocket, and then removed it and shook it against his thigh as if he were [...]


    20. Really enjoyed this literary fiction tale that unfolds over one summer in rural Kentucky. It is a compelling story about a young woman who was an orphan at age 3, and who has just set up home with her first boyfriend, an inexperienced tobacco farmer who has also just lost his family in tragic circumstances. They have a passionate but flawed relationship and feeling isolated physically and emotionally, she is tempted to stray with a local preacher. The summer heat of both the locale and the relat [...]


    21. A tiresome story about a tiresome relationship between irksome simpleton characters with a hokey ending. This is chick Lit, don't let anyone lead you to believe that it rises to the level of literary. I feel cheated once again. I'm still wondering how in hell THE SPORT OF KINGS made it as a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer for fiction. At least it didn't win. But it certainly did receive many accolades. I just don't get it. And there are jubilant reviews of this novel too-by women I notice. This i [...]


    22. “That was what she wanted. That more than family, that more than friendship, that more than love. Just the kind of day that couldn’t be called into premature darkness by the land.”All the Living, a novel that debates whether a young woman should “submit to love” (as the cover put it) or find her way in the world, offers readers a tension-filled love affair. And this tension seems to ratchet up quickly as Aloma arrives at the farm Orren inherited following the deaths of his brother and [...]


    23. I first noticed this on the "recommended" shelf at Green Apple Books in San Francisco. Those indie booksellers know their stuff. I loved CE Morgan's understated, yet lyrical, writing--a new favorite author!


    24. A debut novel with rich prose set in the tobacco fields of South Carolina this is a story of having to grow up too young and to finding your pathway to adulthood. Orren Clay Fenton is orphaned. His mother, Emma and brother, Cash, were killed in a car accident. His father, Cassius, is also deceased. Aloma, a young woman who was orphaned at three years of age, and girlfriend to Orren comes to live with him. Aloma is a talented pianist. Orren struggles with the responsibilities of running the crop [...]


    25. The title of this novel is taken from Ecclesiastes. Amid the hollers and rural landscape of Kentucky, circa 1984, Aloma and Oren try to make their lives on Oren's tobacco farm. Narrated in a dialect that appears quite authentic, the reader is told a story of two damaged souls who try to find love together but more often end up making war.Aloma has come to Oren's farm straight from her mission school. Brought there when she was three years old, this is the only home she has ever known. Her family [...]


    26. This was a tricky one. I didn't like it at first, and reading it made me cranky: the characters seemed flat and selfish, the prose felt overly lush, and the couple's dissonance was palpable and stifling. Then something shifted for me shortly before the midpoint (the book is only around 200 pages): the author hit her stride, or I became accustomed to the style, which by then felt hypnotic, infused with subtle poetry. By the end of the book, I was profoundly moved. Three pieces of scattered dialog [...]


    27. Just excellent! I began reading this by accident, when I was in the backseat as my daughter began a 5-hour drive back to college. A seminar college class of hers was reading the book, so it gave me something to do.Not a lot of action in this book, but that is beside the point because of the writing. The characters and the setting stay with you. The writing reminds me a bit of Cormac McCarthy, with the spare use of punctuation, and Flannery O'Connor with the religious themes and style.Aloma, an o [...]


    28. I read this book around the time it was published in 2009 and loved it. I believe I found it on the Barnes and Noble discover new author's shelf. I was drawn to the cover, which depicts a white barn and a sky full of swirling black clouds. I don't typically re-read books, but after reading the author's second novel - The Sport of Kings - I was drawn to revisit this first novel. Other than the author's wonderful prose, there is little that would make you thing the same author wrote them both. But [...]


    29. A very quiet book - wonderfully written. Some will probably dislike it because it's emphasis is not in the plot but in the descriptions and the overall feeling portrayed. I really enjoyed it.


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