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abels island by william steig

Abel's Island by William Steig


New York : Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1976. First Edition. Stated. Hardcover. 117 pages ; illustrated ; 23 cm. $5.95 dust jacket with shelf wear along the edges. Minor marking to front free endpaper. No other markings elsewhere. Light scattered brown spots on half title page. Minor soiling to page 2 and 3. Binding is firm.

Abel's place in his familiar, mouse world had always been secure; he had an allowance from his mother, a comfortable home, and a lovely wife, Amanda. But one stormy August day, furious flood waters carry him off and dump him on an uninhabited island. Despite his determination and stubborn resourcefulness—he tries crossing the river with boats and ropes and even on stepping-stones—Abel can't find a way to get back home.

Days, then weeks and months, pass. Slowly, his soft habits disappear as he forages for food, fashions a warm nest in a hollow log, models clay statues of his family for company, and continues to brood on the problem of how to get across the river—and home.

Abel's time on the island brings him a new understanding of the world he's separated from. Faced with the daily adventure of survival in his solitary, somewhat hostile domain, he is moved to reexamine the easy way of life he had always accepted and discovers skills and talents in himself that hold promise of a more meaningful life, if and when he should finally return to Mossville and his dear Amanda again.

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