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Madly

A Novel

List Price: $15.00

July 26, 2005 | Paperback |  5.5 x 8.25, 176 Pages | ISBN 9781593760830
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"Love, carnal and fated, fills these pages. You can have it but as if in a proverb of the East, you cannot keep it except in brilliant memory. Beautiful, intense, and utterly absorbing." —James Salter, author of All That Is

Love, with its fear, exhilaration and transcendence, is perhaps the most enduring subject in the literature of the world.

About 11 o’clock on a late August night in Manhattan, Bill on a walk stops by his local Blockbuster, and in the nearly vacant shop meets an exotic stranger looking for advice on which movie to rent. In their fragmented and awkward first conversation they exchange phone numbers and she rides away on her bicycle with a copy of Jules and Jim.

“At two that morning my phone rang. The machine answered; it was Irina saying how much she liked the movie.” Not long after, they meet and soon begin a love affair, filled with tension and tenderness, as they navigate through their separate pasts to find a road to travel together, for as long as their fates allow. Madly is a story of accident and inflected passion, of disruption, erotic and doomed. As Bill comes to realize Irina’s disturbed, tenuous hold on reality, his own hold on Irina turns relentless and obsessive.

WILLIAM BENTON received his early training in music, and worked as a jazz musician before becoming a writer. He is the author of several books of poetry, including Marmalade, Normal Meanings, Eye La View, Birds, and The Bell Poems. His poetry has been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Open City, and other magazines.

He has written a number of catalogue essays on artists, among them Joan Brown, Duncan Hannah, George Johanson, and James McGarrell. His most recent books are A Quatrain on Sleeping Beauty’s Tomb, a translation of Boris Pasternak’s poems, and Exchanging Hats, on the paintings of Elizabeth Bishop. He lives in New York City.

Praise

“Very persuasive, disturbing, and written with lovely sentences and small, understated, elegant moments.” —Ann Beattie, author of The State We’re In

“Love, carnal and fated, fills these pages. You can have it but as if in a proverb of the East, you cannot keep it except in brilliant memory. Beautiful, intense and utterly absorbing.” —James Salter, author of All That Is

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