Chasm: A Weekend : a Novel

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Overlook Press, 2004 - Fiction - 156 pages
4 Reviews
In the stark beauty of the desert, a mansion built by a madman rears its impudent architecture like an insult. The estate is called Windcote, "its very name a masquerade," and its master, the odious Raoul Meridian, has invited a group of guests to spend a weekend, during the course of which they will find themselves driven by obsessions and confusions unlike any they've experienced before. Among them is Albert, a disowned scion searching for an identity, and his too-beautiful companion Nadine, who is irresistibly drawn to the desert and the inscrutable vortex of Windcote. Living deep within this world of fevers and failures is the indomitable child Destina, who will lead them into the heart of a mysterious canyon, where desire and cruelty forge an implacable truth. Dorothea Tanning, whose surrealist vision has been acclaimed worldwide as one of our era's most bold and acute, brings her formidable imagination and exquisite prose style to bear on a novel of incantatory power. As perceptively inventive as Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and as disquieting as Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, Chasm is a novel that will linger in the memories of readers long after they turn its last page.

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Review: Chasm

User Review  - Rebecca Jaroszewski - Goodreads

It was one of the first surrealist novels I had read. I can understand why Max Ernst married this woman. Read full review

Review: Chasm

User Review  - M. - Goodreads

A delightful narrative, to be sure, though of course, due to my own obsessions, I wish the desert mansion & Meridian's BDSM "laboratory" were given more presence, despite not being the point at all ... Read full review


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About the author (2004)

She was born in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1910 & learned to paint by visiting art museums. She attended Knox college, studied art in Chicago & in 1935 moved to New York City, where she supported herself with advertising art & painted in her spare time. A preoccupation with architecture, especially doors, windows & deep tunneling spaces, is a keynote of her style. Before & after her marriage to Max ernst she was occupied with stage & costume design for the likes of George Balachine & others.

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