The Age of Desire
Publication Date: December 2012
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They say that behind every great man is a great woman. Behind Edith Wharton, there was Anna Bahlmann—her governess turned literary secretary, and her mothering, nuturing friend. When at the age of fortyfive Edith falls passionately in love with a dashing, younger journalist, Morton Fullerton, and is at last opened to the world of the sensual, it threatens everything certain in her life—but especially her abiding friendship with Anna. As Edith's marriage crumbles, the women must face the fragility at the heart of all friendships. The Age of Desire takes us on a vivid journey through Wharton's early Gilded Age world: Paris, with its glamorous literary salons and dark secret cafes, the Wharton's elegant house in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Henry James's manse in Rye, England. Edith's real letters and intimate diary entries are woven throughout the book. The Age of Desire brings to life one of literature's most beloved writers, whose own story was as complex and nuanced as that of any of the heroines she created.
Jennie Fields received an MA in creative writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the author of the novels Lily Beach, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, and The Middle Ages. An Illinois native, she spent twenty–five years as an advertising creative director in New York and currently lives with her husband in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jennie Fields' new novel, The Age of Desire, reimagines Edith Wharton's fling with a young journalist and the obsession that accompanied its fallout. Without that experience, Fields says, Wharton's The Age of Innocence would not have been the same. More at NPR.org
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