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Ghost Dance

A Novel

List Price: $16.95

September 17, 2019 | Paperback | 5-1/2 x 8-1/4, 320 pages | ISBN 9781640092440
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“Although author Carole Maso follows the contours of fiction, style is everything in Ghost Dance, a strangely lovely and perplexing book . . . she has a fine ear and her literary gift is impressive.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Originally published in 1986, Ghost Dance is the first in a line of relentlessly experimental and highly esteemed works by Carole Maso.

Vanessa Turin’s family has been broken up by an event so devastating she cannot bear to face it straight on. Her mother, the brilliant and beautiful poet Christine Wing, seems simply to have disappeared, and her gentle, silent father also vanishes. In Ghost Dance, the reader experiences firsthand the dimensions of Vanessa’s longing, the capabilities of her imagination, the persistence of her memory, and the ferocity of her love as she struggles to retrieve her family, to reclaim her country, and to come to terms with overwhelming sorrow.

About Carole Masso

CAROLE MASO is the author of ten books: Ghost Dance, The Art Lover, AVA, The American Woman in the Chinese Hat, Defiance, Aureole, Break Every Rule, The Room Lit by Roses, Beauty is Convulsive, and Mother & Child. She has received numerous awards, including the Lannan Literary Fellowship for fiction. Maso is currently a professor of English at Brown University.

Praise for Ghost Dance

“Obsessive memories, both real and surreal, recur as a young girl tries to overcome the grief of losing her mother. A wonderfully delicate first novel.” —Vogue

“An exquisitely written and ambitious first novel.” —New York Times Book Review

“Although author Carole Maso follows the contours of fiction, style is everything in Ghost Dance, a strangely lovely and perplexing book, a dazzling pyrotechnical display of word arrangements and sentence sculpting . . . Maso has a fine ear and her literary gift is impressive.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Intensely demanding and rewarding . . . I can't remember a more striking depiction of madness, or the labyrinth of family ties.” —Cyra McFadden, Los Angeles Times

“Its great scenes are orchestral.” —E.M. Broner, The Women's Review of Books

“In this irresistible first novel we hear a new voice, artistic, distinct and very female. “ —Rocky Mountain News

“There were many, many moments in this story when I felt like Vanessa herself, standing open–mouthed as small acts of great beauty unrolled before me.” —Gay Community News

“It is a beautiful and painful book because it says in incomparable language, the truth: that there can be no accommodation, that life is difficult and love even more so, that it will not be fine but still we live. The implicit hope throughout is that we will understand our lives, we will be the best we can be. We will be brave. We will say what we mean to say.” —Helen Barolini, Belles Lettres

“Carole Maso is that rare creature—an original! Her voice and vision are like no one else's. From the first page to the last of this meticulously written novel she strikes her own note: elegiac, epic. Never does she tell her story in a straightforward narrative way, but nevertheless her story gets told, mysteriously, indelibly.” —Edmund White, author of Our Young Man

Ghost Dance is at once history, myth, family chronicle, and an extremely original evocation of that elusive meeting ground of creativity and hallucination. Its prose is like poetry, it is an inspiring first novel.” —John Hawkes, author of An Irish Eye

“Comparable more to musical than to literary forms, this first novel resembles a tone poem: its whispering minor–key passages rush suddenly into sexual ecstasy and return to, vary and enlarge upon the agonizing theme of death . . . these vignettes of anger and fear and searching are in the end the author's lyric expression of love.” —Publishers Weekly

“Immaculately written . . . A stunning debut.” —Booklist

“This haunting, often surreal first novel vividly captures the struggles of a young woman, Vanessa Turin, as she attempts to recover her family and her past . . . Unconventional and intense, this novel tells a harrowing tale of the human search for love and understanding.” —Library Journal

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