Sacred Country (Paperback)

By Rose Tremain

Washington Square Press, 9780671886097, 336pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 1995

List Price: 22.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"I have a secret to tell you, dear, and this is it: I am not Mary. That is a mistake. I am not a girl. I'm a boy." Mary's fight to become Martin, her claustrophobic small town, and her troubled family make up the core of this remarkable and intimate, emotional yet unsentimental novel. As daring as Virginia Woolf's Orlando, Sacred Country inspires us to reconsider the essence of gender, and proposes new insights in the unraveling of that timeless malady known as the human condition. As Mary's mother, Estelle, observes, "There are no whole truths, just as there is no heart of the onion. There are only the dreams of the individual mind." Sweeping us through three decades, from the repressive English countryside of the fifties to the swinging London of the sixties to the rhinestone tackiness of seventies America, Rose Tremain unmasks the "sacred country" within us all.

About the Author

Rose Tremain is the author of seven novels, including the bestselling Restoration, which received the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award in 1989, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and was made into an Academy Award(R)-winning film in 1995. Sacred Country won both the James Tait Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger in France. Ms. Tremain lives in London and Norwich, England.

Praise For Sacred Country

The New Yorker

A beautiful, knowing novel about isolation and loneliness.

The Wall Street Journal

An extraordinary novel....spare, pointed [and] extremely moving.

The Village Voice Literary Supplement

Sacred Country is...about the unexpected and its pleasures, the thrill of rounding a corner and finding something is not at all what you thought, even when that something is yourself...brilliant.

The New York Times Book Review

A book that we give to our friends and are glad to have read...Tremain gives us a precisely imagined landscape and...characters that we come to care deeply about.

The Boston Sunday Globe

A stunning achievement.

The London Times Evening Standard

Sacred Country, by even the most exacting standards, is an unqualified success.

The Washington Post

The writing in this novel is a sheer delight....skilled, intelligent storytelling at its best.

The Literary Review

There is no one like Tremain as far as the eye can see....Her book is one to admire and enjoy. It is funny, absorbing, and quite original. I've read nothing to touch it this year.

The Boston Sunday Globe

Rose Tremain's purpose is to probe and illumine the mystery of identity with particular poignancy and rare compassion....intricate and rewarding fiction.

Los Angeles Times

Mary's story is superficially bizarre, yet Tremain makes her not just real but moving and blithe....There is a hint of the magical or providential at work.