A Keeper of Sheep

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Milkweed Editions, 1994 - Social Science - 327 pages
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Penelope Solstice, better known as Penguin, is twenty, a radical feminist, and "probably the only virgin at Dartmouth College." Hiding behind extremist politics and academic prowess, Penguin has always managed to keep her emotions, and her parents' divorce, at bay. Expelled from Dartmouth for setting fire to a fraternity house where a student was raped, Penguin retires to her family's summer home on Cape Cod, unsure of her next move.
Although she has "never even been responsible for a hamster," Penguin soon agrees to care for her neighbor's AIDS-stricken lover, composer Arnold Fratorelli. As Penguin and Arnold's friendship develops, the well-heeled community of Squid Harbor grows uneasy with the threat of disease in their midst. Defending Arnold against the onslaught of paranoid neighbors, Penguin struggles to understand her changing relationships with those around her - and to learn to feel, not just think, her way through life.
Penguin is a narrator with a daring, unique voice. She is the center of a rich assortment of characters whose dread, vanity, greed, and fear she learns to understand and respond to.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Poet Carpenter hits the ground running in his first novel with rich language and lofty ideals, but loses steam with a premise that becomes exhausted by the end. Penguin Solstice, a radical feminist ... Read full review

A keeper of sheep

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Tailor-made for the Nineties, Carpenter's first novel is a seriocomic coming-of-age story. Passing time at her family's Cape Cod home, Penny (Penguin) Solstice contrasts the concerns of spoiled summer ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

William Carpenter teaches at the College of the Atlantic.

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