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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
Valerie Martin’s Property delivers an eerily mesmerizing inquiry into slavery’s venomous effects on the owner and the owned. The year is 1828, the setting a Louisiana sugar plantation where Manon Gaudet, pretty, bitterly intelligent, and monstrously self-absorbed, seethes under the dominion of her boorish husband. In particular his relationship with her slave Sarah, who is both his victim and his mistress.
Exploring the permutations of Manon’s own obsession with Sarah against the backdrop of an impending slave rebellion, Property unfolds with the speed and menace of heat lightning, casting a startling light from the past upon the assumptions we still make about the powerful and powerful.
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Valerie Martin’s Property delivers an eerily mesmerizing inquiry into slavery’s venomous effects on the owner and the owned. The year is 1828, the setting a Louisiana sugar plantation where Manon Gaudet, pretty, bitterly intelligent, and monstrously self-absorbed, seethes under the dominion of her boorish husband. In particular his relationship with her slave Sarah, who is both his victim and his mistress.
Exploring the permutations of Manon’s own obsession with Sarah against the backdrop of an impending slave rebellion, Property unfolds with the speed and menace of heat lightning, casting a startling light from the past upon the assumptions we still make about the powerful and powerful.
Product Details
Paperback (208 pages)
Published: April 13, 2004
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780375713309
Other books byValerie Martin
  • Trespass

    Trespass
    Two women, Chloe Dale, an artist comfortably ensconced in bucolic suburbia, and Salome Drago, a wily, seductive refugee from a country that no longer exists, confront each other in a Manhattan restaurant, and the battle lines are drawn. Toby Dale, son of the artist and ardent suitor of the refugee, is in no position to choose sides. Outside, the drumbeats for the impending invasion of Iraq drown out all argument, and those who object will soon be reduced to standing in the street. The story of two families—suspicious, territorial, naïve in their confidence that they are free of the past—Trespass unfolds with commanding force. It is a bracing, tender novel for the 21st century.

    The Confessions of Edward Day

    The Confessions of Edward Day
    Acclaimed author Valerie Martin returns with a dark comedy about love, sex, an actor's ambition, and the perils of playing a role too well. In this fictional memoir, Valerie Martin brilliantly re-creates the seamy theater world of 1970s New York, when rents were cheap, love was free, and nudity on stage was the latest craze. Edward Day, a talented and ambitious young actor finds his life forever altered during a weekend party on the Jersey Shore, where he seduces the delicious Madeleine Delavergne and is saved from drowning by the mysterious Guy Margate, a man who bears an eerie physical resemblance to Edward. Forever after, Edward is torn between his desire for Madeleine and his indebtedness to Guy, his rival in love and in art, on stage and off. From the Hardcover edition.

    Italian Fever

    Italian Fever
    A Novel
    "Acutely observed...charmingly old-fashioned."--Los Angeles Times In Italian Fever, Valerie Martin redefines the Gothic novel in a compelling tale of one woman's headlong tumble into a mystery, art, and eros. Part romance, part gothic suspense story and wholly entertaining, Italian Fever is the story of the awakening of Lucy Stark, an American pragmatist. Lucy leads a quiet, solitary life working for a best-selling (but remarkably untalented) writer. When he dies at his villa in Tuscany, Lucy flies to Tuscany to settle his affairs. What begins as a grim chore soon threatens Stark's Emersonian self-reliance--and her very sense of what is real. The villa harbors secrets: a missing manuscript, neighbors whose Byzantine arrogance veils their dark past, a phantom whose nocturnal visits tear a gaping hole in Lucy's well-honed skepticism. And to complicate matters: Massimo, a married man whose tender attentions render Lucy breathless. Smart, sophisticated, achingly beautiful, Italian Fever is one of the most original and compelling novels of the year.

    Salvation

    Salvation
    Scenes from the Life of St. Francis
    Inspired by the fresco cycles that depict the life of St. Francis of Assisi, acclaimed author Valerie Martin tells the life of Francesco di Pietro Bernardone in a series of vividly realized “panels” of moments both crucial and ordinary. Drawing from myriad sources and moving in reverse chronological order, she begins in the dark, final days, with a suffering Francesco on the verge of death, then shows us the unwashed and innocent revolutionary, unafraid to lecture a pope on Christ’s message. We see his mystical friendship with Chiara di Offreducci, a nobleman’s daughter who turns her back on the world to join him, and finally, the frivolous young Francesco on the deserted road where his encounter with a leper leads him to an ecstatic embrace of God. Salvation is at once an illuminating glimpse into the medieval world and an original and intimate portrait of the man whose legend has resonated through the centuries. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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