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A Desert of Pure Feeling

by Judith Freeman

From the writer whose voice Carolyn See has characterized as one of the strangest, most distinguished in American fiction writing today ("There is really nothing to compare her with, except, maybe, the austere beauty of a Japanese rock garden"), here is a richly dramatic novel about a woman struggling to make peace with herself as a mother, a lover, an artist, and a friend.Lucy Patterson has just encountered her past in the person of a man whom she has not seen for twenty-five years. Dr. Carlos Cabrera saved the life of her infant son, and it was her love for him that compelled her to end her marriage -- the first moment in an arc of emotional turbulence and upheaval that has since defined her existence. Her past having caught up with her, Lucy has come to an isolated motel in the desert outside Las Vegas to write out her life, reexamine it, and, she hopes, find its calm center. It's a journey she is determined to make alone, but in the next room is a young woman -- a single mother, stripper, and prostitute panicked about her own life -- whom Lucy finds she cannot, and finally does not want to, ignore. A fiercely odd pair, they nonetheless become indispensable to each other in navigating the emotional terrain of their past and in finding, separately and together, clear paths into the future.A Desert of Pure Feeling is the finest work we have yet seen from a writer whose gifts, at once lyrical and tough-minded, become vividly apparent in this penetrating and compelling story.From the Hardcover edition.

A Desert of Pure Feeling: A Novel

by Judith Freeman

Here is a richly dramatic novel about a woman struggling to make peace with herself as a mother, a lover, an artist, and a friend. Lucy Patterson has just encountered her past in the person of a man whom she has not seen for twenty-five years. Dr. Carlos Cabrera saved the life of her infant son, and it was her love for him that compelled her to end her marriage -- the first moment in an arc of emotional turbulence and upheaval that has since defined her existence. Her past having caught up with her, Lucy has come to an isolated motel in the desert outside Las Vegas to write out her life, reexamine it, and, she hopes, find its calm center. It's a journey she is determined to make alone, but in the next room is a young woman -- a single mother, stripper, and prostitute panicked about her own life -- whom Lucy finds she cannot, and finally does not want to, ignore. A fiercely odd pair, they nonetheless become indispensable to each other in navigating the emotional terrain of their past and in finding, separately and together, clear paths into the future. A Desert of Pure Feeling is the finest work we have yet seen from a writer whose gifts, at once lyrical and tough-minded, become vividly apparent in this penetrating and compelling story.

The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved

by Judith Freeman

Raymond Chandler was among the most original and enduring crime novelists of the twentieth century. Yet much of his pre-writing life, including his unconventional marriage, has remained shrouded in mystery. In this compelling, wholly original book, Judith Freeman sets out to solve the puzzle of who Chandler was and how he became the writer who would create in Philip Marlowe an icon of American culture. Visiting Chandler's many homes and apartments, Freeman uncovers vestiges of the Los Angeles that was Chandler's terrain and inspiration for his imagination. She also uncovers the life of Cissy Pascal, the older, twice-divorced woman Chandler married in 1924. A revelation of a marriage that was a wellspring of need, illusion, and creativity, The Long Embrace provides us with a more complete picture of Raymond Chandler's life and art than any we have had before.

Red Water

by Judith Freeman

In 1857, at a place called Mountain Meadows in southern Utah, a band of Mormons and Indians massacred 120 emigrants. Twenty years later, the slaughter was blamed on one man named John D. Lee, previously a member of Brigham Young's inner circle. Red Water imagines Lee's extraordinary frontier life through the eyes of three of his nineteen wives. Emma is a vigorous and capable Englishwoman who loves her husband unconditionally. Ann, a bride at thirteen years old, is an independent adventurer. Rachel is exceedingly devout and married Lee to be with her sister, his first wife. These spirited women describe their struggle to survive Utah's punishing landscape and the poisonous rivalries within their polygamous family, led by a magnetic, industrious, and considerate husband, who was also unafraid of using his faith to justify desire and ambition.

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