Overview

"Vividly rendered...haunting....[Paula Fox] writes with silken ease and a sensitivity to nuance."—Newsday


In 1941, twenty-three-year-old Helen Bynum leaves home for the first time and sets out from rural New York to find her Aunt Lulu, an aging actress in New Orleans. There she finds a life of passion and adventure, possibilities and choices. Falling in with a bohemian group of intellectuals, she discovers romance and sex, friendship and risk,...

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The God of Nightmares

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Overview

"Vividly rendered...haunting....[Paula Fox] writes with silken ease and a sensitivity to nuance."—Newsday


In 1941, twenty-three-year-old Helen Bynum leaves home for the first time and sets out from rural New York to find her Aunt Lulu, an aging actress in New Orleans. There she finds a life of passion and adventure, possibilities and choices. Falling in with a bohemian group of intellectuals, she discovers romance and sex, friendship and risk, her world mirrored by the steamy mystery of the French Quarter.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Wonderfully rich.
Vogue
[Fox] knows how to pace a story, how to use the richest language to portray the barest of scenes. And she knows how to create a character.
Shirley Hazzard
One of America's best novelists.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Haunting, lyrical....A coming-of-age outing stamped with a mastery that less mature writers can only hope to eventually achieve.
Nation
One of our most intelligent...contemporary novelists.
Newsday
Vividly rendered...haunting.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fox's prose flows as clearly and gracefully as clear water in a stream--but there is a dark current underneath: ``the implacable forces of time and loss.'' From a hardscrabble existence with her relentlessly cheerful mother in rural upstate New York, narrator Helen Bynum goes to New Orleans in search of her aunt, a former Ziegfeld girl and has-been actress. Aunt Lulu proves to be an irascible alcoholic, but Helen stays on in the warm-scented, langorous city, so different from the gray, frozen atmosphere of Poughkeepsie. Here Helen feels free for the first time to pursue the potentials of her own life. Enveloped in the affection of her new friends--her landlord, a poet, and his mistress; a seductive young man with silver hair who is the son of a rabbi and with whom she falls in love; another woman from the North who becomes her best friend; an elegant homosexual of Creole descent--Helen at first feels safe and contented. But as she gradually becomes aware of the imminence of WW II in Europe, the injustice of race relations in the South and the dark secrets in her friends' lives, she is suffused with apprehension about ``the black wall of death'' that seems to loom everywhere. In a poignant chapter set years later, Helen finally realizes the implications of those long-ago events. Fox A Servant's Tale is a highly gifted writer whose insightful novels resonate with subtle truths. Apr.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393342109
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/6/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,269,494
  • File size: 416 KB

Meet the Author

Paula Fox
Paula Fox is the author of Desperate Characters, The Widow’s Children, A Servant’s Tale, The God of Nightmares, Poor George, The Western Coast, and Borrowed Finery: A Memoir, among other books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Rosellen Brown is the author of the best-selling novel Before and After as well as Half a Heart, Civil Wars, and others. She lives in Chicago.

Biography

Paula Fox is the author of one previous memoir, Borrowed Finery, and six novels, including Desperate Characters, The Widow's Children, and Poor George. She is also a Newbery Award–winning children's book author. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Author biography courtesy of Henry Holt and Company.

Good To Know

In our interview, Fox shared some fun facts about herself:

"My first job was working in a dress shop in Los Angeles in 1940, for $7 a week."

"I like to cook; it is, for me, a happy combination of mindlessness and purpose."

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    1. Hometown:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 22, 1923
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Attended Columbia University

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