This intimate portrait of a major American writer explores his tumultuous creative life and is a candid memoir of a love affair cut short by his violent death. "DIED. John Gardner, 49," read the Time magazine obituary, "prolific author of stylistically adventuresome fiction, enthusiastic teacher and sometimes, messianic literary critic, of injuries sustained when he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed; near his home in Susquehanna, Pa., four days before he was to have married for the third time." The woman John Gardner was to have married that September of 1982 was a vivacious, talented young writer named Susan Thornton, and On Broken Glass is the story of her exhilarating and sometimes devastating relationship with the author of Grendel, Nickel Mountain, The Sunlight Dialogues, and the award-winning October Light. Poignantly recalled from that moment when she first meets the seductive Gardner at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in 1979, with stinging emotional resonance Thornton's tale relates both the rapture of ardent physical love and the torments of adulterous deceit. It provides, too, an insider's view of the troubling events that surrounded Gardner's untimely death at the same time that it explores the scope of his genius and maps the downward spiral of a demon-ridden alcoholic life. Intimate letters never before published further illuminate the creative appetite and imaginative power of this accomplished, often controversial novelist. On Broken Glass stands as a testament to a love that endures betrayals, trials, and tragic loss. It also comprises a profoundly realized affirmation of life, of continuance, and unexpected peace.
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SUSAN THORNTON has worked in journalism and higher education. Her literary fiction has been published in a number of journals. She lives in Binghamton, New York, with her husband and daughter.From Publishers Weekly:
Aspects of Thornton's memoir of her tortured, passionate love affair with the charismatic, machoAand alcoholicAAmerican author John Gardner (October Light, which won the National Book Award, etc.) read like a novel. Thornton describes a fraught on-again off-again connection with Gardner that lasted three years, starting at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in 1979 when Thornton, herself a writer, was his student, until Gardner's fatal motorcycle accident in 1982. According to Thornton, their relationship was both exhilarating and dysfunctional, the two qualities frequently feeding each other. During their entire relationship, for example, Gardner maintained an intense intimacy with his wife, Liz, frequently calling her to tell her of his undying love. Thornton, now married and a mother, describes the difficulty in leaving this chapter of her life behind and in working through her idealization of Gardner. Her prose is careful and, at times, plain, bordering on banal; but she also exhibits flourishes of grace and originality, though she is reluctant to reveal much about herself. For instance, she mentions her own abuse of alcohol but gives few details, preferring to detail Gardner's addiction, and she offers little in the way of explanation for the extent of the masochism clearly present in their relationship. Despite the unevenness of her writing, Thornton has rendered an absorbing work; moreover, she contributes to literary scholarship by citing letters of Gardner's that, largely because she herself kept them private after his death, have not been available until now. 8 pages b&w photos not seen by PW. (Dec.) Forecast: Major review coverage will bring attention to this book, which will be appreciated by fans of Gardner's work and those interested in the dark side of an artist's life.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descrizione libro Da Capo Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0786707747 Brand new. Codice libro della libreria SKU1025179
Descrizione libro Da Capo Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0786707747
Descrizione libro Da Capo Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0786707747
Descrizione libro Da Capo Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110786707747
Descrizione libro Da Capo Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0786707747 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.0429731