Heidi Schmidt THE BRIDE OF CATASTROPHE

ISBN 13: 9780007122905

THE BRIDE OF CATASTROPHE

 
9780007122905: THE BRIDE OF CATASTROPHE
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"I grew up on a farm,"--the year is l974, the place Sweetriver College, and Beatrice Wolfe is telling the story of her life to the glamorous young professor Philippa Sayres. So begins the achingly funny, often heartbreaking story of Beatrice's quest to escape the gothic eccentricity of her family and find an authentic identity of her own.

Married in a misbegotten passion, her parents are totally unsuited to farming or to any kind of business. When they finally lose their "farm," Bea's family spirals out of control. Still under Philippa's spell, Bea moves to the city of Hartford and joins a lesbian community, and becomes so committed to her new gay identity that she barely notices she's falling in love with a man--a man just risen from the ashes of addiction, whose re-creation of himself she threatens to undo.

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About the Author:

Heidi Jon Schmidt is the author of the acclaimed story collections The Rose Thieves and Darling? both available from Picador. She lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

From Publishers Weekly:

Slipping from the clutches of her reclusive, eccentric family, Beatrice Wolfe makes her way to elite Sweetriver College and then on to bleak late 1970s Hartford. The bright but overwrought and self-important heroine of Schmidt's erratic debut novel is seeking a new identity, but she is hampered in her search by her dysfunctional family, whom she has puffed up to near mythical proportions in her mind. This is particularly true of her mother, Claire, an unhappy woman who has given her "raindropsized world... such complex drama that it became a virtual sea." Somewhat inaccurately describing her parents as "victims of love," Beatrice determines to become an expert in love, embarking on a dogged relationship hunt. Her misguided quest leads her into a deadening relationship with a woman, an apparent polar opposite of Claire. Beatrice's foibles, rendered in the first person, are handled with a combination of sarcasm and tenderness by Schmidt, who captures very well the intense, painful melodramas of youth and the often "foggy tide basin of female feeling." The author of two short story collections (Darling?; The Rose Thieves), Schmidt has a keen eye for detail and a sharp sense of humor. "I did not ask myself whether a love excited by spite was really the kind of love I was looking for," Beatrice tells the reader. "I was in no position for such a proud question." But, like Beatrice herself, Schmidt is prone to melodrama, overwriting already emotional scenes and throwing around literary allusions to everyone from Euripides to John Updike in an effort to broaden and deepen her story's import. The result is a first novel that careens from highstrung editorializing to astute observation, never quite managing to build a complete, believable world for its maddening yet arresting characters.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312423421: The Bride of Catastrophe: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  031242342X ISBN 13:  9780312423421
Publisher: Picador, 2004
Softcover

9780312281779: The Bride of Catastrophe: A Novel

Picador, 2003
Hardcover

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