Cover image for Far : a novel
Far : a novel
Lancelotta, Victoria, 1969-
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Publication Information:
New York : Counterpoint, [2003]

Physical Description:
215 pages ; 22 cm
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A dark, unsettling novel about a woman whose reluctance to adopt traditional female roles of marriage and motherhood results in a painful alienation from her Italian-American family and community. Written with Lancelotta's characteristic passion and wit, Far is a haunting exploration of what it means for a woman to be alone in her family, her house and her body, even as she is hemmed in by them.Martha is single, in her early 30s, and has lived in Baltimore all her life. But she is late to do what they all expect her to do--marry and have children --and is instead involved with Edward, a man chosen precisely because she believes that he expects none of these things from her. When she begins to suspect otherwise, she accepts a new job in the small-town South. Martha yearns to be free of the sense of having disappointed her family--and just about everyone. But the ache for resolution proves too strong. As Martha discovers a growing intimacy between Edward and her sister, she's forced to take responsibility for her isolation.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Lancelotta is a razor's-edge writer with an existential streak and a fascination with the dichotomies of being. Celebrated for her short stories, she stays sharp in her debut novel in which a sultry and cryptic 30-year-old Baltimore woman struggles to understand what it is that she wants, why she doesn't want what most women seem to, and why her self-sufficiency so angers others. Writing with the surgical precision, dark sexuality, and psychological suspense of Annie Ernaux, Joan Didion, and Siri Hustvedt, Lancelotta spotlights transforming moments in Martha's spare life, from her teenage exploits with the local toughs to her Last Tango in Paris-like affair with Edward to her chilly relationships with her complicated mother and her beautiful younger sister (who ends up with Edward) to her abrupt move to a small town in Virginia to run a jewelry store. There Lancelotta adroitly conjures a nightmarish realm of injured souls capable of neurotic and vicious behavior as she traces the thin line between loneliness and aloneness, alienation and independence. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2003 Booklist