Title: HUNGER'S BRIDES: A NOVEL OF THE BAROQUE - ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2005
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 1360 pages. Published in 2005. The author's breakthrough debut novel. One of the most ambitious historical novels ever written in the English language. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Paul Anderson's "Hunger's Brides". An audacious, Wagnerian-length achievement of a novel. Clocking in at 1360 pages and weighing 5.5 pounds, the novel understandably took Paul Anderson twelve years to write, a labor of love, ardor, and devotion. By comparison, our text descriptions are aphoristically brief. The subject is Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and her cloistered, inner-directed life, which begs the question: How is it possible for a woman in then-backward Mexico to become the greatest writer in Spanish of her time? Was she, like the Biblical prophets, inspired by God? Instead of narrating her story straight-through, Anderson interweaves a contemporary one that mirrors Sor Juana's in its carnal/spiritual duality and interior drama. It is Anderson's kaleidoscopic way of divining a very complex Baroque figure who has also intrigued and influenced such modern giants as Octavio Paz, Robert Graves, Diane Ackerman, and Eduardo Galeano. "On a frigid winter's night, a man escapes from an apartment in which a young woman lies bleeding. In his hands he clutches a box he has found there. He is Donald Gregory, a once-respected college professor and serial adulterer, whose last affair has left his career in ruins. She is Beulah Limosneros, one of his students and for a brief time his lover. She had disappeared into Mexico two years earlier, following her obsession with Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Based on the life of one of literature's most compelling figures, Paul Anderson's astonishing debut unveils a great poet's withdrawal from the world who at the height of her creative powers signs a vow of contrition in her own blood" (Publisher's blurb). An absolute "must-have" title for Paul Anderson collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Paul Anderson. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. He also crossed out his printed name. This title is a contemporary cult classic. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A scarce signed copy thus. One of the most brilliant writers of our time. A fine copy. ISBN 0786715413. Bookseller Inventory # 16321
Synopsis: On a frigid winter's night, a man escapes from an apartment in which a young woman lies bleeding. In his hands he clutches a box he has found there. He is Donald Gregory, a once-respected college professor and serial adulterer, whose last affair has left his career in ruins. She is Beulah Limosneros, one of his students and for a brief time his lover. She had disappeared into Mexico two years earlier, following her obsession with Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, who was born in 1648, entered a convent at age nineteen, and became the greatest poet of her time, only to die of plague in 1695. As a police investigation closes in around Gregory, he examines the box's contents, fearful of incriminating evidence Beulah may have against him—translated poems of Sor Juana, a travel journal, research notes on the Spanish conquest of the Americas and the Inquisition, diary entries concerning him, and a strange manuscript about Sor Juana. Based on the life of one of literature's most compelling figures, Paul Anderson's astonishing debut unveils a great poet's withdrawal from the world who at the height of her creative powers signs a vow of contrition in her own blood.
From the Inside Flap:
An epic novel of genius and obsession -- apocalyptic, lyrical and erotically charged. Spanning three centuries and two cultures, Hunger's Brides brings to vivid life the greatest Spanish poet of her time, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and plumbs a mystery that has intrigued writers as diverse as Robert Graves, Diane Ackerman, Eduardo Galeano and Nobel laureate Octavio Paz. Why did a writer of such gifts silence herself?
At the time of her death in 1695, Juana Inés de la Cruz was arguably the greatest writer working in any European tongue, yet she had never set foot in Europe. Instead she was born among the descendants of the Aztec empire, in the shadow of the mountain pass Cortés and his troops descended on their advance to Montezuma's capital. A child prodigy from a barbarous wilderness, her beauty and wit provoked a sensation at the viceregal court in Mexico City. But at the age of nineteen, still a favourite of the court, Juana entered a convent, and from that point her life unfolded between the mystery of her sudden flight from palace to cloister, and the enigma of her final vow of silence, signed in blood. After a quarter-century of graceful, often sensuous poetry, plays and theological argument, Sor Juana chose silence, which she maintained until she died of plague at the age of forty-five.
Drawing on chronicles of the conquest and histories of the Inquisition, myth cycles and archeological studies, ancient poetry and early Spanish accounts of blood sacrifice, Hunger's Brides is a mammoth work of inspired historical fiction framed in a contemporary mystery. In the dead of a Calgary winter night, a man escapes from an apartment in which a young woman lies bleeding -- in his arms he clutches a box he has found on her table addressed to him. He is Donald Gregory, a once-respected, now-disgraced, academic. She is Beulah Limosneros, one of his students, and for a brief time his lover. Brilliant, erratic, voracious, she had disappeared two years earlier in Mexico, following the thread of her growing obsession with Sor Juana. Over the ensuing days and weeks, as a police investigation closes in around him, Gregory pieces together the contents of the box she has left him: a poetic journal of her travel in Mexico, diaries, research notes, unposted letters, and a strange manuscript -- part biography, part novel -- on Sor Juana.
Hunger's Brides is a dramatic unveiling of three intimate journeys: a man's forced march to self-knowledge, a great poet's withdrawal from the world, and a profane mystic's pilgrimage into modern Mexico, in which the bones of the past constantly poke through a present built on the ruins of the vanquished.
Excerpt from Hunger's Brides
"From the moment I was first illuminated by the light of reason, my inclination toward letters has been so vehement that not even the admonitions of others . . . nor my own meditations have been sufficient to cause me to forswear this natural impulse that God placed in me . . . that inclination exploded in me like gunpowder. . . ."
--Sor Juana, in a letter of self-defence written to a bishop in 1691, just before she took a vow of silence
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