Four Dreamers and Emily

Stevie Davies

ISBN 10: 0312168446 / ISBN 13: 9780312168445
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[ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ][ Ships Daily ] [ Underlining/Highlighting: NONE ] [ Writing: NONE ] [ Edition: first ] Publisher: St. Martin's Press Pub Date: 8/15/1997 Binding: Hardcover Pages: 272 first edition. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Academics and Wuthering Heights fans are descending on the Bronte family homestead for an Emily Bronte conference. Among their ranks are a single, over-sixty, self-professed expert on the Brontes; an overworked wife, mother, and university lecturer; a widower sustained by nocturnal visits from Emily's ghost; and a young waitress suddenly drawn into the curios orbit of academia. Each looks forward to a weekend in the company of kindred spirits, but none is prepared for the unexpected conflicts and unpredictable alliances that result.

Four Dreamers and Emily is the United States debut of an acclaimed British novelist -- a sharply observed, hilarious, and bittersweet send-up of academic pretentiousness and literary obsession.

From Kirkus Reviews: In a charming, comic little novel on the love that literature can inspire, a motley group of Bront‰ enthusiasts gather for an academic conference--and end up transforming their chaste devotion into a more physical passion. British novelist and critic Davies, herself a Bront‰ scholar, pokes reverent fun at all the fuss ladled on the three dead sisters. Her briskly plotted work, the author's first US publication, follows the exploits of four pilgrims to the shrine of the Bront‰ homestead: Eileen James, a 60ish virgin who attends all the conferences to proclaim vehemently the significance of Passion; Timothy, an infirm widower who occasionally sees Emily's ghost; Marianne Pendlebury, the professor who arranged the conference--and has a Bront‰ pen-pal in Timothy and a grudge against the always disruptive Eileen; and finally young, hulking Sharon, a waitress invited by Marianne, who mistakenly thinks Sharon has hidden literary interests. The conference, peopled by the usual assortment of theorists (the semicolon enthusiasts, the uterine-feminists, the deconstructionists) does not go well for Marianne. She knows that she's on the verge of being sacked by her university (she's too subdued in lectures), and her three toddlers have unexpectedly shown up--in tow of their self-centered father, who deposits them on her lap. Eileen is disillusioned (she happens upon two deconstructionists having sex on the moors, and the animalism of the act shatters her well-tended ideas about passion), but when she's accidently locked in the Bront‰ house at night with Timothy, she discovers an appealing companionship. Bored Sharon also finds love on the moors, in the form of local boy Mark, who's entranced by her learned associations. The ending, which picks up the lives of the pilgrims a year later, offers a sweet homage to the transformative powers of literature, in all its subtle forms. An airy read, light and rewarding; particularly enjoyable to those bewitched by the academic world of letters. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Title: Four Dreamers and Emily
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