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MARIETTE IN ECSTASY.

Hansen, Ron.

ISBN 10: 0060182148 / ISBN 13: 9780060182144
Published by NY: HARPER-COLLINS. 1991, 1991
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From WAVERLEY BOOKS ABAA (Santa Monica, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Cloth. First Edition. Signed by Author. SIGNED by Ron Hansen on the title page. Very close to fine in a fine dj. (Hint of extremely faint foxing at top edge) (S); Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 17954

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Bibliographic Details

Title: MARIETTE IN ECSTASY.

Publisher: NY: HARPER-COLLINS. 1991

Publication Date: 1991

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Set in an upstate New York convent in 1906, this novel depicts the drama of a seventeen-year-old postulant who discovers unexplainable wounds on her body that many believe are of miraculous origin

Review:

A novel about convent life at the turn of the century? Hardly the makings of a page-turner, yet Ron Hansen's Mariette in Ecstasy is a gripping, even life-changing book. For the Sisters of the Crucifixion, each day is a ceaseless round of work, study, and prayer--one hardly separate from the other. Their daily life is itself an act of devotion, caught here in a series of illuminated tableaux: hundreds of yellow butterflies alighting on eight gray habits, moving through a field; a sister praying as she "turns over a great slab of dough that rolls as slowly as a white pig"; nuns warming their hands on the flanks of horses, swinging scythes through timothy grass, crushing grapes with their feet.

Into this idyll comes Mariette--young, pretty, devout, but, as her father says, perhaps "too high-strung" for the convent. Prone to "trances, hallucinations, unnatural piety, great extremes of temperament, and, as he put it, 'inner wrenchings,'" Mariette scalds her hands with hot water as penance, threads barbed wire underneath her breasts while she sleeps, and is convinced Jesus speaks to her. Her very glamour disturbs the gentle rhythm of the nuns' lives. But when she begins bleeding from unexplained wounds in her hands, feet, and sides, the convent is thrown into an uproar. Is Mariette a saint? Or just a lying, hysterical girl? Where do we draw the line between madness and faith, mysticism and eroticism, the life of the spirit and that of the world?

It's to Hansen's credit that he never provides easy answers. Mariette's stigmata may or may not be genuine; the novel's achingly gorgeous prose is the true miracle here. Mariette in Ecstasy is a brief, precious book, not a single word in excess, not a single word left out. --Mary Park

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