The Confessions of Edward Day
By Valerie Martin
(Nan A. Talese, Hardcover, 9780385525848, 304pp.)
Publication Date: August 11, 2009
List Price: $25.00*
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Acclaimed author Valerie Martin returns with a dark comedy about love, sex, an actor's ambition, and the perils of playing a role too well. In this fictional memoir, Valerie Martin brilliantly re-creates the seamy theater world of 1970s New York, when rents were cheap, love was free, and nudity on stage was the latest craze. Edward Day, a talented and ambitious young actor finds his life forever altered during a weekend party on the Jersey Shore, where he seduces the delicious Madeleine Delavergne and is saved from drowning by the mysterious Guy Margate, a man who bears an eerie physical resemblance to Edward. Forever after, Edward is torn between his desire for Madeleine and his indebtedness to Guy, his rival in love and in art, on stage and off.
VALERIE MARTIN is the author of eight novels, including Trespass, Italian Fever, The Great Divorce, Mary Reilly, and the 2003 Orange Prize-winning Property, and three collections of short fiction.
New York City in the 1970s was a time of hope and cheap rent. Valerie Martin, in her new novel, The Confessions of Edward Day narrows the focus even more: to young aspiring actors beginning to make their way in the theater of the time. Alan Cheuse calls the book "a credible faux memoir." More at NPR.org
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- Part I concludes with Edward wishing he could avenge his mother's death by making Helen pay for what she had done. Is this a form of misplaced anger? How does the theme of retribution play out throughout the novel?