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Actress in the House

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Actress in the House

Joesph McElroy

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ISBN 13: 978-1-58567-350-6
Trim Size: 6x9

Product Description

A riveting new novel-a story of abuse, shock, and redemption-by the author hailed for his "intellectual reach, his passionately earnest sensibility, and his desire to reformulate American fiction." (Tom LeClair, The New Republic)

When Joseph McElroy's debut novel, A Smuggler's Bible, was first published in 1966, it was hailed in the New York Times as a novel of "daring, range, and brilliant subtlety to ignore it would be as shameful an act of blind self-deprivation as that which so many of us performed when The Recognitions and Under the Volcano were first published." Actress in the House is his first novel in twelve years, a provocative and imaginative work that explores the mysterious interaction of memory, abuse, love, and violence.

Struck in the face, the actress on stage is staggered but doesn't fall. She gazes into the audience, staring with bloody nose at the middle-aged man in the eighth row of this obscure downtown warehouse theater who is drawn in by this violence unmistakably over the line. Daley has never set eyes on this actress before, yet is not entirely unacquainted with her either. Almost against his will, her life will invade his, her efforts to break free of those who have tried to control her, and worse.

As Becca and Daley begin the uncertain process of discovering one another, talking surprisingly, absorbingly, with a humor and uncanny closeness on the night streets of mid-1990s New York, they slowly unearth the buried trauma that has brought them together and may tear them apart.

"McElroy uses writing as a physicist might use an accelerator, to put us in touch with truths that, like atoms, are beyond the scope of everyday perception." –Los Angeles Times

"McElroy's novels combine to be one of the most significant accomplishments in contemporary fiction." –Chicago Tribune

Joseph McElroy was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1930. He is the author of eight novels, including A Smuggler's Bible, Hind's Kidnap, Ancient History, Lookout Cartridge, Plus, Women and Men, and The Letter Left to Me, and a forthcoming volume of essays. He received the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Ingram Merrill Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught at Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Paris. He lives in New York City.

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