Cover image for Demons & divas : 3 novels
Demons & divas : 3 novels
Molinaro, Ursule.
Personal Author:
First edition, autograph edition.
Publication Information:
Kingston, N.Y. : McPherson & Co., 1999.
Physical Description:
239 pages ; 23 cm
Angel on fire -- Saint boy -- April in Paris.
Format :


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For this trilogy of short novels--her first new book in six years--Ursule Molinaro drew upon a wealth of sources (including Balzac, Flaubert, and Hildegard of Bingen) to transform the grotesqueries of our time into timeless tales. Angel on Fire presents Clara Corvo, who was born with three peculiarities--a cloven hoof, phenomenal intelligence, and clairvoyance. Her mother finds her unbearable, and to escape her family takes a young student as a lover. When six-year-old Clara matriculates at Harvard Law School, an almost classical conclusion is inevitable. In twenty letters gathered for the pending canonization of Jacob Erskine Wooster, a picture emerges not of humility but of large contraditions in an ordinary man whose beatification is as strange as his life. Saint Boy is Diane Arbus in prose. In April in Paris, Molinaro spins Southern gothic into French embroidery. An American woman out of her element wherever she happens to be.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Compact and carefully constructed, this triptych of short novelsÄAngel on Fire, Saint Boy and April in ParisÄfocuses on seemingly ordinary characters, viewing them through a screen of mythological and biblical symbols and endowing them with double identities. In Angel on Fire, the Corvo family's balance is disrupted by the arrival of a seventh child and first daughter, Clara, born with a hoof in the place of one foot but also with precocious intelligence and prescience. From the moment of her birth, Clara is an emotional lightning rod. By age five, she has inspired worship and devotion in her father, brothers and her kindergarten classmates, but also jealousy and frustrated rage in women, including her own mother. In Saint Boy, Molinaro continues to question what makes a person worthy of admiration, or in the extreme case she documents, what makes a saint. Reading through a dramatic and passionate series of letters from those who knew (or didn't know) him, the hagiographers of the beatified (but not yet canonized) Jacob Erskine Wooster must reconstruct the life of this so-called "everyday saint." In April in Paris, April Mentone n‚e Winslow presents her recollections of her expatriate life in Europe, but April's tenuous grasp on reality gives her a confused memory of her American past. Transporting her characters from Sicily to New York to Athens, from Sioux Falls to Los Angeles to Greece, and from Richmond to Vienna to Paris, Molinaro communicates a sense of displacement and manages to cover vast stretches of time and space. Translator, playwright, and author of 13 novels (Fat Skeleton, etc.), Molinaro reveals the extraordinary in the ordinary, injecting elements of the fantastic into her curious modern fables. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved