By Michèle Roberts
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805074406, 304pp.)
Publication Date: September 2003
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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A painter's death sets into motion a story of desire-past and present-and its enduring repercussions
Catherine and Vinny are sisters and writers living in contemporary London. Catherine, a professor, publishes erotic novels under an assumed name, keeping her acclaimed novelist husband, Adam, in the dark. When not writing her poetry, Vinny wanders the streets of the city marking the houses of female authors with chalk quotations from their work.
When Adam's father dies, both women are forced to reconsider the event that shaped their lives, the betrayal at the heart of their relationships. Haunted by their individual and common pasts, they must come to terms with each other, and with their present-day lives.
Acclaimed author Michèle Roberts not only brings history to life-interwoven into this contemporary narrative is the story of another set of sisters, the Brontës-but illuminates the way it informs, or shadows, the present. Evocative, emotional, and intelligent, The Mistressclass is an exploration of the desires that move us-toward art and literature, and toward each other.
Michèle Roberts is the author of twelve novels, including Fair Exchange; Daughters of the House, which won the W. H. Smith Literary Award and was short-listed for the Booker Prize; and The Looking Glass. Half English and half French, Roberts divides her time between London and Mayenne, France.