The Altar of the Body
By Duff Brenna
(Picador, Hardcover, 9780312268657, 336pp.)
Publication Date: September 2001
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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George McLeod’s easy life turns to chaos when his bodybuilder cousin Buck Root returns to Minnesota with his sexy girlfriend Joy and her mother Livia, whose sense of reality blurs into the pages of a western novel. For the first time, George understands the rage to live life to its fullest—the rage that has consumed Joy, Buck Root, and Livia. With tragicomic grandeur, Duff Brenna weaves the story of four people who come together in a cataclysmic moment of truth that tests their compassion and capacity to love.
Duff Brenna is the author of The Book of Mamie, which won the AWP Award; The Holy Book of the Beard; and Too Cool, a New York Times Notable Book. A Minnesota native and onetime Wisconsin dairy farmer, Brenna is an English professor. He lives in Poway, California.
“Duff Brenna is an American treasure.”
“A gift of grace and wit. With elegant precision, Brenna takes us into a world that is part real, part dream, familiar yet always surprising. This is a story that transcends the willful obsessions, the relentless self-absorption of contemporary life, that reinvents family, and illuminates what is both painful and best at its heart.”—Claire Davis, author of Winter Range
“Brenna’s The Altar of the Body twists through flashes of intense and freakishly fleshy brilliance on a hell-bent drive toward destruction and chaos.”—Laura Hendrie, author of Remember Me
“A hymn to our wonderful doomed bodies, our frail and glorious humanity.”—Mick Cochrane, author of Flesh Wounds