Synopses & Reviews
Julian Rose, twenty-six, Harvard Ph.D. candidate in government, meets Claire Marvel, twenty-three, Ph.D. candidate in art history, during a sudden
rainstorm one spring afternoon in 1985. They spend a half an hour together, huddled under her yellow umbrella on the steps of the Fogg Art Museum.
For the next two years, with an intimacy and an intensity that will mark them for the rest of their lives, Julian and Claire are together, then not. Then for two
weeks of indelible happiness, they share an old stone house in France. Finally, buffeted by circumstance and afraid to express their feelings, they part, with
brutal swiftness and seeming permanence. Stunned with pain, they retreat, marry others, and make separate lives, not seeing each other, but not forgetting.
A dozen years pass. And then in New York one evening they meet. They do not see each other again.
Four months later, Julian receives word that Claire has been found drowned, an apparent suicide, in a river in south central France, near the place of their
idyllic two weeks. Grief-struck, unable to go on with the ordinary life he has so carefully constructed and a marriage fatally touched by his unspoken love for
Claire, Julian goes to France to try to find out who Claire was in the years without him, and what happened to her.
Moving from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to New York City, to the hushed, timeless countryside of old France, John Burnham Schwartz explores the many
aspects of emotional commitment and the fear of giving one's self to another -- in father -son relationships, in marriage, and in the ecstasy and elation of
an elusive but compelling passion. "Claire Marvel" is a brilliant achievement.
Moving from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to New York City, to the hushed, timeless countryside of old France, John Burnham Schwartz explores the many aspects of emotional commitment and the fear of giving one's self to another--in father-son relationships, in marriage, and in the ecstasy and elation of an elusive but compelling passion.
About the Author
JOHN BURNHAM SCHWARTZ is the author of Bicycle Days and Reservation Road, which have been translated into more than ten languages. His writing has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, The New Yorker, the Boston Globe, and Vogue. He lives with his wife, filmmaker Aleksandra Crapanzano, in Brooklyn, New York.