Narrow Rooms

Narrow Rooms

James Purdy

James Purdy

Released from a prison sentence for manslaughter, Sidney De Lakes returns home to West Virginia, where, in order to exorcise the memory of the lover he killed, he must keep his appointment with destiny in the shape of the man known as "the Renderer". In this story of the powerful, violent passions of four young men in the remote Appalachians, James Purdy has crafted one of his most haunting and memorable works.Long neglected, James Purdy (1914-2009) is being rediscovered as one of the masters of 20th-century American fiction, and in Narrow Rooms (1978), which Giordano Tedoldi in the new introduction to this edition likens to classic works of Greek tragedy, Purdy is at his very best."I read Narrow Rooms with delight and awe . . . It is a dark and splendid affair." - Gore Vidal"A spellbinder from the master of the modern tale." - The Antioch Review"A breathtaking and overpowering narrative concerning the sexual passion among four young men in a...
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In a Shallow Grave

In a Shallow Grave

James Purdy

James Purdy

When they sent Garnet Montrose to Vietnam they told him he’d go out a boy and come back a man. But he comes back a freak, so hideously scarred that no one can stand to look at his face. The explosion which destroyed his company has skinned him alive. Living as a recluse on a storm-battered Virginia farm, he dreams of the days when he was eighteen and king of the local dance hall, kept alive by his obsession with the untouchable Georgina Rance. It seems this half-life will never end – until the arrival of Daventry, offering him total love or total destruction… ‘A marvellous tour-de-force. A novel that engages as it entertains, draws the reader in as it draws something out of him. In other words, a very impressive book’ – Publishers Weekly. ‘Mr Purdy writes like an angel, with accuracy, wit and freshness, but a fallen angel, versed in the sinful ways of men’ – The Times.
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Eustace Chisholm and the Works

Eustace Chisholm and the Works

James Purdy

James Purdy

"[S]o good that almost any novel you read immediately after it will seem at least a little bit posturing." —Jonathan FranzenNo James Purdy novel has dazzled contemporary writers more than this haunting tale of unrequited love in an indifferent world. A seedy depression-era boarding house in Chicago plays host to "a game of emotional chairs" (The Guardian) in a novel initially condemned for its frank depiction of abortion, homosexuality, and life on the margins of American society. A cast of characters displaced by economic distress congeal around the embittered poet Eustace Chisholm, who acts as a something of a Greek chorus for the doomed and destructive relationship that is instigated when landlord Daniel Haws falls in love with young college student Amos Ratcliffe. Building to a shocking conclusion, Eustace Chisholm and the Works is a dark and gothic look at the strange and terrible power of love amid a "psychic American landscape of deluded innocence,...
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