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Set in the 21st century - between 20 and 60 years from w - The Sparrow is the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and talented linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who - in response to a remarkable radio signal from the depths of space - leads a scientific mission to make first contact with an extraterrestrial culture. In the true tradition of Jesuit adventurers before him, Sandoz and his companions are prepared to endure isolation, suffering - even death - but thing can prepare them for the civilisation they encounter, or for the tragic misunderstanding that brings the mission to a devastating end. Once considered a living saint, Sandoz returns alone to Earth horrifically maimed, both physically and spiritually, the mission's sole survivor - only to be blamed for the mission's failure and accused of heius crimes. Written in clean, effortless prose and peopled with memorable, superbly-realised characters who never lose their humanity or humour, The Sparrow is a powerful, haunting fiction - a tragic but ultimately triumphant vel about the nature of faith, of love and what it means to be 'human'.
Mary Doria Russell is a former anatomist, has studied six languages, trained as a paleoanthropologist and is the author of scientific papers on subjects as various as bone biology and cannibalism. Her first novel, The Sparrow, won the 1996 James Tiptree Award, the 1998 BSFA Award and the 1998 Arthur C. Clarke Award and she has also won the Cleveland Arts Council Prize for Literature and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer of Science Fiction. Her second novel, Children of God, is the sequel to The Sparrow. Mary Doria Russell lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband and their son.
Winner of Arthur C. Clarke Award 1998 and Arthur C Clarke Award 1998.