Excessive Joy Injures The Heart

Excessive Joy Injures The Heart

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by Elisabeth Harvor
     
 

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When she begins to have trouble sleeping, Claire Vornoff drives out into the country to become a client of Declan Farrell, and an education (of sorts) begins. An alternative practitioner and an iconoclast in the medical establishment, Farrell is magnetic, unsettling, and Claire is both beguiled and skeptical as she tries to resist his ability to get through to her. As…  See more details below

Overview

When she begins to have trouble sleeping, Claire Vornoff drives out into the country to become a client of Declan Farrell, and an education (of sorts) begins. An alternative practitioner and an iconoclast in the medical establishment, Farrell is magnetic, unsettling, and Claire is both beguiled and skeptical as she tries to resist his ability to get through to her. As time goes on, her attachment to him deepens, reinventing itself over and over. But when she has a brief affair with a married man things escalate, setting in motion a series of startling and unexpected events. Astute, compassionate, and alert to the dilemmas of contemporary urban life, Excessive Joy Injures the Heart charts the tricky anatomy of obsession, and brilliantly captures our neverending quest to remedy the aches in our minds, bodies, and spirits.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Harvor delivers a gorgeous sense of form, and an erotically charged atmosphere.”
Hamilton Spectator

“A hypnotically compelling novel.”
–Saskatoon StarPhoenix

“[Harvor makes] observations of Chekhovian depth. You think you have it all figured out, only to discover that things are not at all what they seemed.”
New Brunswick Reader

“A sophisticated, complex narrative.…What Fay Weldon does so well in Britain, Harvor does equally well here, portraying with wry humour the worst aspects we try to keep hidden in ourselves.…[Her] characters make us laugh as we respond to the biting accuracy of their depiction.”
Calgary Herald

“Harvor writes beautifully, her language is hypnotic, with a sort of meditative lilt that encourages dreaming.…Fascinating.…”
–Fredericton Daily Gleaner

“A very moving book.”
eye Weekly

“Declan Farrell is a Pied Piper of energy, a Shamanistic version of enchanter, alchemist, magician.”
Ottawa Citizen

“Harvor provides us with a portrait of an intelligent, multi-faceted woman who is looking for the key that will unlock the door into a future that might be better than the present. Since we’re all junkies – addicted to ourselves, our lives, our dreams, and our experiences – meeting a fictional character like Claire may make us a bit more aware of how a desire for anything reflects Buddha’s second noble truth: that craving is the source of suffering.”
Tone Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781551997018
Publisher:
McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
Publication date:
02/21/2012
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Elisabeth Harvor is the highly acclaimed author of the national bestselling novel Excessive Joy Injures the Heart, and three collections of short fiction, If Only We Could Drive Like This Forever, Our Lady of All the Distances, and most recently Let Me Be the One, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. She is also the author of two poetry books, Fortress of Chairs, which won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and The Long Cold Green Evenings of Spring.

Harvor was the winner of the Alden Nowlan Award for the year 2000. Her fiction has been anthologized in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, and has appeared in many periodicals, including The New Yorker, Saturday Night, Toronto Life, The Malahat Review, and The Hudson Review. Harvor has been writer-in-residence at universities and libraries across Canada, and has also taught in creative writing programs at Concordia University, York University, and the Humber School for Writers.

Elisabeth Harvor has two sons, and lives in Ottawa.

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Excessive Joy Injures The Heart 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Two women walk into the "splashy bedlam" of a public swimming pool area, then feel the steambath warmth of the chlorinated air come toward them "across the sloshed tiles, in that great booming hall of hygiene." The strawberries that Claire Vornoff hulls are "too hard, white-knuckled at their tips", and her refrigerator is so old that it creaks like a saddle. As for one of her blouses, a pale-green shell made out of shot silk, it "looks as if it's been left out overnight in a frost." I knew from the imagery in Harvor's poetry and also from the images in Excessive Joy Injures the Heart that I was going to love the book's language, even though from the write-up on the jacket, I didn't think its story would interest me much. But surprise, surprise, it really did. Because the novel, as one of its reviewers said, tells an electric and very intelligent story, a story that "dares to ask disquieting questions about the nature of attraction, about the responsibility for it, and the complicity necessary for two human bodies to hover, be lured, and to connect." A really innovative and iconoclastic novel for connoisseurs of both language and psychology.