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Palmerino

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Palmerino Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

O, The Oprah Magazine “Title to Pick Up Now”

Welcome to Palmerino, the British enclave in rural Italy where Violet Paget, known to the world by her pen name and male persona, Vernon Lee, held court. In imagining the real life of this brilliant, lesbian polymath known for her chilling supernatural stories, Melissa Pritchard creates a multilayered tale in which the dead writer inhabits the heart and mind of her lonely, modern-day biographer.

Positing the art of biography as an act of resurrection and possession, this novel brings to life a vividly detailed, subtly erotic tale about secret loves and the fascinating artists and intellectuals—Oscar Wilde, John Singer Sargent, Henry James, Robert Browning, Bernard Berenson—who challenged and inspired each other during an age of repression.

Melissa Pritchard is the author of eight books of fiction, including The Odditorium, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. Among other honors, her books have received the Flannery O'Connor, Janet Heidinger Kafka, and Carl Sandburg awards, and two of her short fiction collections were New York Times Notable Book and Editors Choice selections.

Review:

"Violet Paget, who wrote under the name Vernon Lee, is now largely forgotten, but in the Victorian era, she was a well-known intellectual, writer, and eccentric (she wore men's clothes and was likely a lesbian) who palled around with the likes of Henry James and John Singer Sargent. Palmerino, Paget's house outside Florence, is the site of Pritchard's (The Odditorium) novel and the place where Sylvia, a writer of historical fiction whose last books did poorly and whose husband has just left her, has come to write about Paget. Increasingly engrossed in her subject — she is even, it comes to seem, haunted and possessed by her — Sylvia tries to imagine the intimate details of the relationships between Paget and the women she loved. The book toggles between the past and the present, between Sylvia's more biographical efforts and her more novelistic ones and her waning connection to present-day life. Pritchard focuses on the complexities of love and the limits and possibilities of empathetic imagination, but while the Italian setting is deftly handled, the extra layers of story, notwithstanding the supernatural touches, don't add enough, and the book never achieves the synthesis it needs to carry weight as a novel rather than as a sympathetic précis of Paget's life." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A richly atmospheric, supernaturally shaded novel based on the true story of a brilliant Victorian-era writer and intellectual

About the Author

Melissa Pritchard is the author of eight books of fiction, including The Odditorium and Palmerino (forthcoming from Bellevue Literary Press in 2014), and a biography of Virginia Galvin Piper that US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day OConnor called “a delight to read.” Among other honors, her books have received the Flannery OConnor, Janet Heidinger Kafka and Carl Sandburg awards and two of her short fiction collections were New York Times Notable Book and Editors Choice selections. Her fiction, essays, and journalism have also appeared in numerous magazines, textbooks, anthologies, and journals, including the Nation, Paris Review, O, The Oprah Magazine, A Public Space, Ecotone, and the Chicago Tribune as well as the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. After working in Afghanistan as an embedded journalist, Pritchard founded the Ashton Goodman Fund in support of the Afghan Womens Writing Project. A professor of English, she teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781934137680
Author:
Pritchard, Melissa
Publisher:
Bellevue Literary Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20140114
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Gay Fiction
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Lesbian Fiction

Palmerino New Trade Paper
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Product details 192 pages Bellevue Literary Press - English 9781934137680 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Violet Paget, who wrote under the name Vernon Lee, is now largely forgotten, but in the Victorian era, she was a well-known intellectual, writer, and eccentric (she wore men's clothes and was likely a lesbian) who palled around with the likes of Henry James and John Singer Sargent. Palmerino, Paget's house outside Florence, is the site of Pritchard's (The Odditorium) novel and the place where Sylvia, a writer of historical fiction whose last books did poorly and whose husband has just left her, has come to write about Paget. Increasingly engrossed in her subject — she is even, it comes to seem, haunted and possessed by her — Sylvia tries to imagine the intimate details of the relationships between Paget and the women she loved. The book toggles between the past and the present, between Sylvia's more biographical efforts and her more novelistic ones and her waning connection to present-day life. Pritchard focuses on the complexities of love and the limits and possibilities of empathetic imagination, but while the Italian setting is deftly handled, the extra layers of story, notwithstanding the supernatural touches, don't add enough, and the book never achieves the synthesis it needs to carry weight as a novel rather than as a sympathetic précis of Paget's life." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
A richly atmospheric, supernaturally shaded novel based on the true story of a brilliant Victorian-era writer and intellectual

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