Synopses & Reviews
To twenty-year-old Joan Mitchell, her fate seems sealed and strangely inconsequential: inheritance of the stately New Orleans house she shares with her oppressive mother and undermining half-sister, and marriage to an ill-matched steady boyfriend. Then a brief affair with Michael Kern, a man she knows to be a cad but is drawn to anyway, unfurls for Joan a surrealistic sequence of events - pregnancy, an abortion, and eventually withdrawal into a numbed existence. Only her growing obsession with Michael and her cavernous loneliness lend her life direction. An intricate psychological novel that plumbs the pain and rage born of identity and volition suppressed, The House on Coliseum Street is an arresting, somber story that transcends period and place even as it so immediately evokes New Orleans in the late 1950s.