Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ke-Ma)

Martin, Valerie

manon woman lucy novel

(US, 1948– )

Valerie Martin lives in upstate New York, and has spent three years in Rome. Her seventh novel, Property (2003) deservedly won the Orange Prize. Set in early nineteenth-century Louisiana, the novel is narrated by one of the most intriguing characters in recent fiction. Manon Gaudet is unhappily married to a sugar plantation owner, who has fathered the children of Manon's slave Sarah. Manon is a woman of her times, deeply and unquestioningly racist, consumed with hatred for her husband and contorted jealousy of Sarah. Martin explores the dehumanizing effects of slavery upon owners as well as those they regard as their property; and offers a piercing insight into the psychological and physical terrors of plantation life. Italian Fever (1999) follows a woman, Lucy, to a villa in Tuscany, where she must settle the affairs of her late employer, a best-selling writer. But nothing here is as it seems, and a ghost and a passionate love affair compound Lucy's sense that she is losing her grip on reality.

Toni Morrison, Caryl Phillips (Cambridge)  JR

Mason, Anita [next] [back] Martin, George R. R.

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