Arkansas: Three Novellas [NOOK Book]

Overview

Here are three novellas of escape and exile, touching and funny and at times calculatedly outrageous. In "Saturn Street," a disaffected L.A. screenwriter delivers lunches to homebound AIDS patients, only to find himself falling in love with one of them. In "The Wooden Anniversary," Nathan and Celia - familiar characters from Leavitt's story collections - reunite after a five-year separation. And in "The Term-Paper Artist," a writer named David Leavitt, hiding out at his father's house in the aftermath of a ...
See more details below
Arkansas: Three Novellas

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.49
BN.com price
(Save 17%)$13.95 List Price

Overview

Here are three novellas of escape and exile, touching and funny and at times calculatedly outrageous. In "Saturn Street," a disaffected L.A. screenwriter delivers lunches to homebound AIDS patients, only to find himself falling in love with one of them. In "The Wooden Anniversary," Nathan and Celia - familiar characters from Leavitt's story collections - reunite after a five-year separation. And in "The Term-Paper Artist," a writer named David Leavitt, hiding out at his father's house in the aftermath of a publishing scandal, experiences literary rejuvenation when he agrees to write term papers for UCLA undergraduates in exchange for sex.

David Leavitt's first work of fiction sinceWhile England Sleeps, these novellas explore the themes of escape and exile. By turns comical, lyrical, and speculative, they testify to the redemptive capacities of both the human heart and the literary spirit. First serial to Esquire. 224 pp. National ads. Author tour. 25,000 print.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After the scandal that followed the publication of While England Sleeps, Leavitt has obviously decided to keep his distance from revered English poets with dicey sexual backgrounds. Here he presents three novellas about someone he can be reasonably sure won't sue-himself. In "The Term Paper Artist," a character named David Leavitt, unable to make any headway on a new book, turns to engineering term papers for UCLA undergrads in exchange for sex. It's the best writing of David's life, until he collides with a desperate Mormon whose predicament reintroduces a moral context that complicates the hedonistic torpor via an overwrought analysis of Jack the Ripper. "The Wooden Anniversary" picks up the story of Celia and Nathan (Leavitt regulars), who have been thrown together at Celia's cooking school in Tuscany. Nathan falls for Celia's straight chef, leading to a series of mildly anguishing high jinks, but the real suffering-and the plot's harshest blow-is concealed until the novella's closing pages. The collection's best inclusion, "Saturn Street," follows a New York writer who, in the aftermath of his lover's suicide, is hiding out in L.A. and delivering meals to homebound AIDS patients. By turns tender, awkward and amusing, the tale showcases Leavitt's acumen at delineating different generations of gay men, as well as his skill at contrasting jittery self-consciousness with the sort of placid resignation that can accompany a terminal illness. The collection's title comes from an instructive Wilde quote about exile, and that's what Leavitt has provided here: a set of lessons for wounded hearts desperate to make their escapes. First serial to Esquire; author tour; foreign sales to Italy and the Netherlands. (Apr.)
From The Critics
"Spectacularly effective fiction."
Library Journal
Escape is the theme unifying these three novellas, one of which features an author named David Leavitt who writes term papers in exchange for sex while fleeing literary scandal (remember While England Sleeps?).
Kirkus Reviews
Grim, disturbing explorations of the way in which lust and loneliness can destroy the possibility of love, by the author of two story collections (including A Place I've Never Been, 1990) and three novels (While England Sleeps, 1993, etc.).

In "The Wooden Anniversary" Nathan and Celia are reunited after a five-year separation, and almost immediately misunderstand one another again. Celia, desperately in love with Nathan (who is gay) for many years, having finally pried herself away from him, has lost weight, gotten a husband, and become the proprietress of a successful cooking school in Tuscany. Nathan, "world weary and travel worn," becomes infatuated with Mauro, Celia's handsome young Italian chef, and out of simple lust, or boredom (and, perhaps, with the masochistic Celia's unconscious assistance) sets a devastating farce in motion. "Saturn Street" concerns Jerry, a young, deeply disaffected writer in Los Angeles who finds himself increasingly attracted to Phil, handsome, blithe, and dying of AIDS. Leavitt chillingly captures the sense of a devastated gay community in which everyone now "operates from fear." "The Term Paper Artist," the most troubling of the three novellas, plays some unsettling games with fact and fiction. The narrator, "David Leavitt," having been sued by an English poet for passages in his novel While England Sleeps, goes home to California, where he receives a bizarre offer from the handsome, amoral, heterosexual college-age son of family friends: He'll allow David to perform a sex act with him, if he writes a term paper of vital importance. David does so, word circulates, and he finds himself besieged by a variety of straight college boys willing to strike a similar bargain. There's an alarming sense of self-laceration in all this, not much redeemed by the suggestion that the sex (and the research on the papers) somehow stimulates David's hitherto exhausted creative energy.

Sad tales of anomie and of confused, contradictory quests for love.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780544080027
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 7/18/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 910,724
  • File size: 359 KB

Meet the Author

David Leavitt's first collection of stories, Family Dancing, was published when he was just twenty-three and was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Prize. The Lost Language of Cranes was made into a BBC film, and While England Sleeps was short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize. With Mark Mitchell, he coedited The Penguin Book of Short Stories, Pages Passed from Hand to Hand, and cowrote Italian Pleasures. Leavitt is a recipient of fellowships from both the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He divides his time between Italy and Florida.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

The Term Paper Artist 1
The Wooden Anniversary 75
Saturn Street 133
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 12, 2013

    Enjoyed the read, there were a couple times where I wasn't sure

    Enjoyed the read, there were a couple times where I wasn't sure who was who, but did get back into it after I got the characters down. Overall, I liked it and will buy another Leavitt novel or shorts. I've got several books of Leavitts.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2002

    SUPERB SET OF GAY STORIES!

    The last novella in the book broke my heart. The food delivery person falls in love with the AIDS patient and doesn't realize that he does love him, and consequently never tells the object of his affection about his feelings. The months that were wasted here made me cry! I couldn't figure out why he acted the way he did. And that's what made me enjoy this so much. It forced me to think. Would I have done the same thing faced with fear of disease, particularly AIDS? These three stories are top-drawer, but In Saturn Street is the best. It is a well-written novella. I hope to write something this moving and important someday.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2000

    Entertaining Read

    Purchased this book and took it on a recent trip. I finished the book before the plane landed. It was very entertaining, three separate stories. First book I purchased by this author. I intend to buy some of his other work. You will enjoy the stories. No real heavy issues...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)