When Jane Rule’s first novel, Desert of the Heart, was published in 1964, it was an auspicious beginning for a writer who would build a reputation on her unflinching views about sexuality, relationships and the painful constrictions of societal convention. Even more astonishing is the way in which the novel has retained its cool quiet beauty and power of expression decades later.
Evelyn Hall is a literature professor who travels to the divorce capital of mid-century America, Reno, Nevada, in the summer of 1958 to put an end to her disastrous sixteen-year marriage. She is divorcing her husband for his own good and on the advice of his psychiatrist because, this being the 1950s, the doctor believes that Evelyn’s career success is causing her husband’s feelings of inferiority and depression. At the boarding house where she stays to fulfill the six-week residency required for a quickie divorce, Evelyn meets Ann Childs.
Ann is most alluring in her representation of freedom to Evelyn, from her artistic prowess to her unconventional liaisons amid the smoky nocturnal backdrop of casino life. And once these women have found the promise of a significant relationship, Rule’s open-ended question is whether or not they can survive the toxic atmosphere, not simply of an unruly gambling town, but of the past sorrows and hardships each of the characters is attempting to put behind them.
The title derives from W.H. Auden’s elegy for Yeats—“In the desert of the heart / Let the healing fountain start.”
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Two women meet and fall in love in Reno, Nevada. Evelyn Hall has gone there to get a divorce from her husband; Ann Childs works there as a change girl in a gambling casino. The movie Desert Hearts is based on this first novel by Jane Rule.About the Author:
Jane Rule was born in New Jersey in 1931 and came to Canada in 1956, where she later taught at the University of B.C. Her first novel, Desert of the Heart (1991), was made into a movie in the 1980s. Rule emerged as one of the most respected writers in Canada with her many novels, essays and collections of short stories including Theme for Diverse Instruments (1975). Rule passed away in 2007.
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Book Description Consortium Book Sales and Dist, 1991. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # V7-9780889223011
Book Description Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0889223017
Book Description Talonbooks, 1991. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Two women meet and fall in love in Reno, Nevada. Set in the late fifties, this classic of lesbian eroticism is Jane Rule's first novel. Rule's Theme for Diverse Instruments is also available from Talonbooks. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0889223017
Book Description Talonbooks. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0889223017 Special order direct from the distributor. Bookseller Inventory # R9780889223011
Book Description Talonbooks, 1991. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0889223017
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97808892230111.0
Book Description Talonbooks Ltd, 1991. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. none edition. 224 pages. 8.50x5.50x0.50 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0889223017
Book Description Talonbooks, 1991. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110889223017