"A writer at the height of her powers." ―Oprah.com
Is not empathy that consciousness leading us, unwitting, into the realm of spirits, avatars, even demons? Are not the dead still trying to reach the living?
Welcome to Palmerino, the British enclave in rural Italy where Violet Paget, known to the world by her pen name and male persona, Vernon Lee, held court. In imagining the real life of this brilliant, lesbian polymath known for her chilling supernatural stories, Pritchard creates a multilayered tale in which the dead writer inhabits the heart and mind of her lonely, modern-day biographer.
Positing the art of biography as an act of resurrection and possession, this novel brings to life a vividly detailed, subtly erotic tale about secret loves and the fascinating artists and intellectuals--Oscar Wilde, John Singer Sargent, Henry James, Robert Browning, Bernard Berenson--who challenged and inspired each other during an age of repression.
Melissa Pritchard is the author of the novel Palmerino, the short story collection The Odditorium, and the essay collection A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write, among other books. Emeritus Professor of English and Women's Studies at Arizona State University, she now lives in Columbus, Georgia.
Bellevue Literary Press, 9781934137680, 191pp.
Publication Date: January 14, 2014