A Desert of Pure Feeling

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, May 16, 2012 - Fiction - 288 pages
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From the writer whose voice Carolyn See has characterized as one of the strangest, most distinguished in American fiction writing today ("There is really nothing to compare her with, except, maybe, the austere beauty of a Japanese rock garden"), here is a richly dramatic novel about a woman struggling to make peace with herself as a mother, a lover, an artist, and a friend.

Lucy Patterson has just encountered her past in the person of a man whom she has not seen for twenty-five years. Dr. Carlos Cabrera saved the life of her infant son, and it was her love for him that compelled her to end her marriage -- the first moment in an arc of emotional turbulence and upheaval that has since defined her existence. Her past having caught up with her, Lucy has come to an isolated motel in the desert outside Las Vegas to write out her life, reexamine it, and, she hopes, find its calm center. It's a journey she is determined to make alone, but in the next room is a young woman -- a single mother, stripper, and prostitute panicked about her own life -- whom Lucy finds she cannot, and finally does not want to, ignore. A fiercely odd pair, they nonetheless become indispensable to each other in navigating the emotional terrain of their past and in finding, separately and together, clear paths into the future.

A Desert of Pure Feeling is the finest work we have yet seen from a writer whose gifts, at once lyrical and tough-minded, become vividly apparent in this penetrating and compelling story.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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A desert of pure feeling

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When Lucy Patterson, a middle-aged, long-divorced fiction writer, was invited to fill in as writer-in-residence on a luxury cruise to Europe, she never expected to meet up with her former lover, Dr ... Read full review

Contents

ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
FIVE
SIX
SEVEN
EIGHT
FOURTEEN
FIFTEEN
SIXTEEN
SEVENTEEN
EIGHTEEN
NINETEEN
TWENTY
TWENTYONE

NINE
TEN
ELEVEN
TWELVE
THIRTEEN
TWENTYTWO
TWENTYTHREE
TWENTYFOUR
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About the author (2012)

Judith Freeman is the author of Family Attractions, a collection of short stories, The Chinchilla Farm, and Set For Life. She lives in Challis, Idaho, and Los Angeles with her husband, photographer Anthony Hernandez. She reviews books regularly for the Los Angeles Times. Set For Life received the Western Heritage Award for Best Novel.


From the Hardcover edition.

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