The Illness Lesson - Beams, Clare
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Sarah Waters meets Red Clocks in this searing novel, set at an all-girl school in 19th century, Massachusetts, which probes the timeless question: Who gets to control a woman's body and why, by a writer who is "wickedly sharp-eyed, wholly unpredictable, and wholly engaging" (Joyce Carol Oates) The year is 1871. In Ashwell, Massachusetts, at the farm of Samuel Hood and his daughter Caroline, a mysterious flock of red birds descends. Samuel, whose fame has waned since his renowned transcendentalist community failed decades before, takes the birds' appearance as an omen that the time is ripe for…mehr

Produktbeschreibung
Sarah Waters meets Red Clocks in this searing novel, set at an all-girl school in 19th century, Massachusetts, which probes the timeless question: Who gets to control a woman's body and why, by a writer who is "wickedly sharp-eyed, wholly unpredictable, and wholly engaging" (Joyce Carol Oates) The year is 1871. In Ashwell, Massachusetts, at the farm of Samuel Hood and his daughter Caroline, a mysterious flock of red birds descends. Samuel, whose fame has waned since his renowned transcendentalist community failed decades before, takes the birds' appearance as an omen that the time is ripe for his newest venture. He will start a school for young women, curating their intellectual development as he has so carefully curated his daughter's. Despite misgivings, Caroline begins teaching the assembled students alongside her father's protégée, a man to whom she is increasingly drawn. Samuel's vision--revolutionary, as always; noble, as always; full of holes, as always--takes shape. It's not long before the students begin to manifest bizarre symptoms. Rashes, fits, headaches, verbal tics, night wanderings. At the forefront of the suffering is powerful, inscrutable Eliza Bell, the fifteen-year-old daughter of Samuel's celebrated former rival. In desperation, the school turns to the ministering of a sinister physician--based on a real historic treatment--just as Caroline's body, too, begins its betrayal. As the girls' conditions worsens, long-buried secrets emerge, and Caroline must confront the all-male, all-knowing authorities of her world, the ones who insist the voices of the sufferers are unreliable. In order to save herself, Caroline may have to destroy everything she's ever known. Written in intensely vivid prose and brimming with psychological insight, The Illness Lesson is a powerful exploration of women's bodies, women's minds, and the time-honored tradition of doubting both.
  • Produktdetails
  • Verlag: DOUBLEDAY & CO
  • Seitenzahl: 288
  • Erscheinungstermin: 11. Februar 2020
  • Englisch
  • Abmessung: 239mm x 162mm x 30mm
  • Gewicht: 588g
  • ISBN-13: 9780385544665
  • ISBN-10: 0385544669
  • Artikelnr.: 56741753
Autorenporträt
Clare Beams is the author of the story collection We Show What We Have Learned, which won the Bard Fiction Prize and was a Kirkus Best Debut of 2016, as well as a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. With her husband and two daughters, she lives in Pittsburgh.
Rezensionen
This is Alcott meets Shirley Jackson, with a splash of Margaret Atwood...Unusual and transporting.
Washington Post

[This] gripping novel meditates on how an all-male establishment can denying women s pain, and how the consequences can shape a society.
Vanity Fair

"Beams s first novel is a meticulously crafted suspense tale seething with feminist fury."
O, The Oprah Magazine

Masterfully considered Clare Beams cool, cutting prose hypnotically evokes the oppression of female bodies and minds.
Entertainment Weekly

"A haunting psychological thriller about society s preoccupation with controlling women s minds and bodies...[An] arresting, beautifully written debut novel."
Newsday

Beams (We Show What We Have Learned, 2016) takes risk after risk in this, her first novel, and they all seem to pay off. Her ventriloquizing of the late 19th century, her delicate-as-lace sentences, and the friction between the unsettling thinking of the period and its 21st century resonances make for an electrifying read. A satisfyingly strange novel from the one-of-a-kind Beams.
Kirkus (starred review)

"Luminous...This suspenseful and vividly evocative tale expertly explores women's oppression as well as their sexuality through the eyes of a heroine who is sometimes maddening, at othertimes sympathetic, and always wholly compelling and beautifully rendered."
Booklist (starred review)

Daring [a] powerful and resonant feminist story.
Publishers Weekly

The Illness Lesson is a brilliant, suspenseful, beautifully-executed psychological thriller. With power, subtlety, and keen intelligence, Clare Beams has somehow crafted a tale that feels like both classical ghost story and like a modern (and very timely) scream of female outrage. I stayed up all night to finish reading it, and I can still feel its impact thrumming through my mind and body. A masterpiece.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls

"Stunningly good a brainy page-turner that s gorgeous and frightening in equal measure. The Illness Lesson dazzled me."
Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks

Clare Beams has a compellingly edgy sense of just how quietly ubiquitous both the surreal and the oppressive can be in our lives. The Illness Lesson features a memorably appealing young protagonist who, even given her time and place, persists in questioning why powerful and mostly well-meaning men who otherwise see with such clarity can remain so blind to so much.
Jim Shepard, author of The Book of Aron

"I read The Illness Lesson over the course of two feverish days, as if one of the afflicted girls at Trilling Heart School, possessed and enthralled by the sly beauty of the prose and by Clare Beams's riveting insights on women's bodies and power. A beautiful, timely novel by a writer with a once-in-a-lifetime imagination I'm a Clare Beams fan for the long haul, and this knockout will win her legions more."
Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

"The Illness Lesson truly shook me. In prose so sharp it cuts through the decades and arrives at the present day, Clare Beams takes a shocking moment out of true history, and brings it to life. You want to know how horrifying things happened while decent people looked on and did nothing? Read this novel. I believed every nuance of these characters thoughts, the conflicts waging war inside their own minds, their devastation, and their courage. I was immensely moved by this story, and the people who populate its pages."
Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes

The bravery of Beams is contagious in this beautifully written and radically profound book. The Illness Lesson glows with guts, questioning where nature and knowledge, control and disease meet in young women. Beams s astonishing accomplishment radiates terror, joy and wonder as this narrative, deeply grounded in the female body, takes flight.
Samantha Hunt, author of The Dark Dark

"Narrated from a painfully intimate perspective, The Illness Lesson explores the consequences of an outrageous medical treatment inflicted upon adolescent girls in 1870 s New England to cure hysteria. In Clare Beams s luminous and suspenseful prose, the unspeakable is spoken, falteringly at first, then with triumphant strength. Its timeliness will be evident to readers for whom the suppression of female sexuality/ identity is an ongoing and urgent issue.
Joyce Carol Oates, author of Pursuit

This haunting novel blends historical fiction with a timely comment on women s bodies and minds, and those who think they can control them.
Stylist UK
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