Join us for a sneak preview of Lisa Russ Spaar’s debut novel, Paradise Close. This in-person event will be free and open to the public. We recommend arriving early for the best seating.
About the Book: In 1971, orphan Marlise Schade—fourteen, anorectic, and evicted from the psychiatric hospital her trust fund can no longer support—finds herself alone in an ancestral home during a blizzard. Marlise’s struggles to survive there become the focal point for a host of imperiled figures, living and dead, whose stories intersect with hers and with forces roiling the U.S. in the ’70s.
Decades later, on the brink of Trump’s America, sixty-something Tee Handel is shaken by an inexplicable visitation. For years he’s nursed a deep hurt over his breakup with a captivating artist, spending his days and nights in solitude tinkering with antique clocks. What’s become of the artist, and how Tee reacts to his mysterious guest, testifies to the risk and inexorability of change.
These two seemingly unrelated tales entwine to show how the wages of the past are always with us, as are the dangerous and redemptive consequences of secrets confided and withheld.
About the Author: Lisa Russ Spaar is the author and editor of over ten books, most recently Orexia: Poems (2017), More Truly & More Strange: 100 Contemporary American Self-Portrait Poems (2020), and Madrigalia: New & Selected Poems (2021). A novel, Paradise Close, will appear in April 2022. Her honors include a Rona Jaffe Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Library of Virginia Prize for Poetry, the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and an NEH Distinguished Professorship. Her “Second Acts” column on second books of poetry is a regular feature at the Los Angeles Review of Books, and her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia.
Paradise Close has had a delay in printing and will not be released until late April or early May. To pre-order the book, please see below for the New Dominion Bookshop book order form or call the shop at 434-295-2552.
"Beginning with a fragile, tender-hearted teenage orphan and spiraling into an ever-growing universe of enchanting outcasts, Paradise Close is part romantic fantasy, part literary dreamscape, and always a luscious and rewarding encounter with language. If this is what happens when poets write novels, they should all write them."
—Eleanor Henderson, author of The Twelve-Mile Straight and Everything I Have Is Yours
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