Port Mungo

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Recorded Books, LLC, 2004 - Art students - 314 pages
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Patrick McGrath is a writer of astonishing accomplishment: "fiction of a depth and power we hardly hope to encounter anymore," according to Tobias Wolff, with "the drive and suspense of the most shameless thriller [and] the inevitability of myth." Port Mungo, his sixth novel, is a harrowing story of art and love, and of a family cursed by both. Throughout a privileged, eccentric childhood, Jack Rathbone enjoyed the constant adoration of his sister, Gin. So at art school in London, she is pained to see him fall under the spell of Vera Savage, a spectacularly bohemian painter with whom he soon runs off to New York City. From a bruised, bereft distance, Gin follows their southward progress through Miami and prerevolutionary Havana to Port Mungo, a seedy river town in the mangrove swamps along the Gulf of Honduras. Here Jack discovers himself as an artist, and begins to work with a fervor as intense as the restless, boozy waywardness to which Vera gradually succumbs, and which not even the births of two daughters can help to subdue. Patrick McGrath's mesmerizing narrative tracks these lives from the fifties in England to the nineties in Manhattan: the latter-day Gauguin; his buccaneering mate; the girls, Peg and Anna, left adrift in their wake; and Gin herself, their painstaking chronicler, whose house in Greenwich Village eventually becomes a haven for them all. This feverish world of tropical impulses, artistic ambition, and love both reckless and enduring leads the Rathbones, ultimately, to a death swathed in mystery, and to another similarly bound in complicit secrecy, as the imperatives of passion, narcissism, and creativity hold each of themand the readerin relentless thrall. From the Hardcover edition.

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Port Mungo: a novel

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Gin worships her big brother, artist Jack, but he's off to Port Mungo with brilliant but unpredictable fellow painter Vera Savage. With a five-city author tour. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
20
Section 3
30
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Patrick McGrath was born in London in 1950 and grew up near Broadmoor Hospital where his father was the medical superintendent for many years. He attended Stonyhurst College and received his BA in English from the University of London. Among other jobs, he worked as an orderly in a mental hospital and as a teacher before becoming a writer. He is seen as a leader of the neo-Gothic writers; his books include Spider, The Grotesque, Port Mungo, Trauma and Asylum. His novel Martha Peake won the Premio Flaiano Prize in Italy. McGrath resides in New York City and London.

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