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Books  >   Literature and Fiction : Women's Fiction : Mothers and Children : 


Dalglish, Cass

Spinsters Ink Books
Published:October, 2000

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Description: From Publishers Weekly
"We are back from some sadness," the narrator's father says at the opening of this novel of reclamation, remembrance and fantasy. Poet Nin Creed, born to a scholarly mother the day she died in an auto accident in Israel, decides as an adult in Minnesota to reclaim her mother's legacy. Raised in Vermont with sister Annie by her father and wise cook Aurelia, at age 11 Nin reads in an old Haifa Israel English Gazette of the circumstances of her mother's death in 1951. She learns that her father was invited by a Father Louis to teach at a college of theology in Haifa, but the truth proves more complicated: it was Nin's mother, not her father, who wanted to relocate to Israel to pursue scholarly research "looking for patterns, gestures, repetitions" that might lead to the Grail. However, much of what her mother had assembled was lost in a mysterious fire ("the ultimate editor of history"). As an adult, Nin establishes herself as an "aerobic poet" who gains notoriety for penning verses on command; she returns to Vermont and, later, Israel. What unfolds is a literary and spiritual detective story. Nin's scholarly sleuthing turns up a garland of female writers across time, including Christine de Pisan and Marguerite Por te of the 14th century, who act as Nin's guides, and together they try to make sense of the fragmentary clues Nin manages to uncover. Though some of its New Agey mysticism is facile, this book raises compelling issues of gender and history, and of the ways in which both influence representations of truth and meaning. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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