Some favorite scenes in fiction (some spoilers)

War and Peace (Tolstoy)—Prince Andrei, injured in the war against Napoleon, is roused from his hospital bed as he hears the screams of an unseen patient whose leg is being amputated, who he realizes is his doppelganger, Anatol Kuragin.

Ancient Evenings (Mailer)---Not a great book but the boat ride up the Nile by the hero and his family in anticipation of an audience with the Pharoah is thrilling

The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck)---Rose O'Sharon, heavy with milk, nurses the dying grandfather in the unbelievably powerful final pages

Except for Me and Thee (West)---The bereaved Quaker parents exchange a silent look over the head of their youngest child who unwittingly makes a remark while playing with the beloved pet of the child who has died. 

Sophie's Choice---The narrator, Stingo, accidentally sees Sophie without her dentures

A Death in the Family---A father and his young son attend a Chaplin movie

Gone With the Wind---After the war, an anxious Scarlett returns to Tara and glimpses it in the moonlight.

My Name is Asher Lev---The conservative Jewish parents of our artist-hero approach the exhibition of his painting, a Crucifixion scene.

Exession, by Iain M. Banks: One character slashes open the belly of her girlfriend to kill the fetus in her womb. Especially powerful due to Banks’ excellent use of future biomanipulation involving people being able to willingly change gender.

My apologies. The book is called Excession.

The Last Temptation of Christ (Katzantzakis)—Though we are led to believe Christ has rejected his messianic destiny and has led the simple life as husband and father, the last chapter reveals these scenes as the final memories of Christ who, in fact, has chosen to die on the cross.

Andersonville (Kantor)—The prisoners’ stoning of the birds