In these three novellas, spouses and lovers are at the edge of themselves, saying the unsayable, doing the undoable, challenging us to keep our eyes open to disintegration and pain. At the core of each tale is an erotic intensity, realized in urgent prose and unforgettable stories.
Into the Green Ocean Deep portrays a husband’s last days with a dying mistress as they explore the last flames of eroticism and transgression. After she dies, the husband’s wife returns. “He said to his wife, or thinks he said, on a morning with a sunrise because he remembers a whiskey in his hand, Regarding my fidelity to the dead woman, even though she’s dead, what to do I don’t know.” Negative Space takes place as a man sits on a French terrace overlooking a three-hundred-year-old olive grove at sunset and listens as his wife confesses her love for someone else. Inviolate begins with a wife at the bedside of her comatose husband after a stroke has left him disabled and soon to die. A remarkable act of recollection occurs: “once coma defined the limit of her husband’s existence, for the rest of it he was as well as he would ever be, and so his wife at the foot of the bed observed that this was as good as he was going to look.”