Intrusions

Overview

Brilliantly stretching literary conventions, Ursula Hegi, author of the best-selling Stones from the River, creates a funny and original novel within a novel to explore the doubts, decisions, and "might-have-beens" that mark not only the writing process but life itself. As her "author" and her fictional heroine deal with their intrusions into each other's lives, Hegi reveals much about the choices women make, the ambiguities they face, and the often surprising ways reality and ...

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Intrusions

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Overview

Brilliantly stretching literary conventions, Ursula Hegi, author of the best-selling Stones from the River, creates a funny and original novel within a novel to explore the doubts, decisions, and "might-have-beens" that mark not only the writing process but life itself. As her "author" and her fictional heroine deal with their intrusions into each other's lives, Hegi reveals much about the choices women make, the ambiguities they face, and the often surprising ways reality and fiction merge.

Brilliantly stretching literary conventions, the author of Stones from the River creates a funny and original novel within a novel that explores the doubts, decisions, and "might-have-beens" that mark not only the writing process, but life itself. "A lively first novel about the layered realities of a woman's life."--Robin Morgan.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Mary Mackey San Francisco Chronicle Hegi has a real genius for the material of personal existence, for the world seen close up...fascinating.

Robert Sorensen Minneapolis Tribune A delightful and perceptive novel about the creative process and the nature of reality.

Robin Morgan Ursula Hegi has given us a lively first novel about the layered realities of a woman's life. It's funny, and sad, and an old-fashioned "good read."

Victoria Kohl Los Angeles Herald Examiner Hegi's sharp perceptions, humor and talent...have created a unique and satisfying read about the burden of being responsible for ourselves.

From Barnes & Noble
In this intriguing novel within a novel, Ursula Hegi's "author" and her fictional heroine deal with continuous intrusions into each other's lives. "...a unique and satisfying read about the burden of being responsible for ourselves."-- Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684844817
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 3/1/1997
  • Series: Scribner Paperback Fiction Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,360,750
  • Product dimensions: 0.65 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 8.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ursula  Hegi

Ursula Hegi is the author of The Worst Thing I've Done, Sacred Time, Hotel of the Saints, The Vision of Emma Blau, Tearing the Silence, Salt Dancers, Stones from the River, Floating in My Mother's Palm, Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories, Intrusions, and Trudi & Pia. She teaches writing at Stonybrook's Southhampton Campus and she is the recipient of more than thirty grants and awards.

Biography

Multiple award winner Ursula Hegi moved from West Germany to the U.S. in 1964. She has lived on both coasts, in the states of Washington and New York.

Hegi's first two books had American settings; but when she was in her '40s, she began investigating her cultural heritage in stories about life in Germany. Her critically acclaimed 1994 novel Stones from the River gathered further momentum when it was selected in 1999 as an Oprah's Book Club pick.

Among numerous honors and awards, Hegi has received an NEA Fellowship, several PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards, and a book award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) in 1991 for Floating in My Mother's Palm. She has taught creative writing and has written many reviews for acclaimed publications like The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.

Good To Know

Hegi immigrated to the U.S. in 1964, at the age of 18.

After it was rejected by several publishers, Hegi destroyed the manuscript of her first novel. She explains herself in this way:

"[The novel] was called Judged, and I wrote it between 1970 and 1972. When Intrusions -- my first novel brought into print -- was accepted for publication, I was a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, and one of the other students said it would be interesting to write a thesis on my two unpublished novels. By then I knew that I didn't want to publish Judged. It just wasn't very good, and I knew I didn't want to revise it. But I had learned a lot from writing it -- especially how not to write a novel. I went home, made paper airplanes with my children from the manuscript, and landed them in the wood stove.

My second unpublished manuscript, written in the mid-1970s, was The Woman Who Would Not Speak. It was set in Germany, and I used quite a bit of the material, in very different form, for two later novels, Floating in My Mother's Palm and Stones in the River. I always felt that I wanted go further with those characters. When I began Floating, it helped a lot to have descriptions that I'd written not too long after leaving Germany. Floating contains one chapter, called "The Woman Who Would Not Speak," which gives you an idea of the storyline and characters in the book. I revise my work between 50 and 100 times, going deeper each time. But part of revision is also knowing what to abandon."

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    1. Hometown:
      Upstate New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      1946
    2. Place of Birth:
      Germany
    1. Education:
      B.A., M.A., University of New Hampshire

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Megan Stone was walking along the deserted beach.

You will probably ask, Why another book about another woman walking along another beach? Another deserted beach, to be more specific. And you will sigh impatiently, wondering how soon Megan is going to arrive at some monumental insight which will liberate her dramatically from her husband, the demands of her children, and the eighty or ninety Christmas cards she feels obligated to send every year — an insight which will leave her alone in an open-ended situation that could lead anywhere, not excluding nowhere.

Or you might scan the horizon of the plot, waiting for the appearance of a prospective lover, quite likely younger than Megan's forty-one years, who will introduce her to multiple orgasms and fellatio (in neither my Webster's Collegiate nor my Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary), not to mention various imaginative positions, some of them slightly uncomfortable, and who will serve as a catalyst to free her from her marriage. Naturally, you will expect Megan to sooner or later leave the younger lover (hereafter also referred to as Y.L.), in order to demonstrate her ability to make independent decisions.

Perhaps you imagine their bodies entangled in one of those small harbors of safety among the dunes, those little alcoves away from the ocean where the tall blades of grass protect them from being seen, where the fine sand is soft and white. You can follow the course of Y.L.'s suntanned hands as they explore Megan's body. She arches her back, moaning, as he parts her thighs with his bearded chin, his face nuzzling against the warm softness, his agile tongue circling and probing. She locks her fingers into his thick black hair. Y.L. comes up for air and gets sand up his nose, while Megan, sitting up as she hears him cough and sneeze, gets sand up her...

There! Nothing like having your fantasy disrupted by the probabilities of reality. Of course you could have prevented this by including a blanket, one of those woven, striped Indian affairs in rich earthy colors: terra-cotta, Sahara beige, harvest yellow, tobacco brown. Or their position could be entirely different, precluding the possibility of sand obstructing the course of events.

Perhaps you don't want to imagine Megan in the traditionally submissive position, yielding only to those sensations that Y.L. chooses to expose her to. Yours might be a more aggressive, a more independent approach: Y.L. on his back, his knees bent, the only slightly callused soles of his feet digging into the warm sand, the muscles in his thighs trembling with what soon will be ecstasy, as Megan mounts the erection she created, lowering herself, slowly rotating while guiding Y.L.'s right hand to her clitoris (we'll do without worn terms such as surging, throbbing, sliding, etc.), then abandoning herself in a wild ride that would leave Attila the Hun in a cloud of dust, her long, wheat-blond hair whipping the salty breeze like a victorious banner.

Copyright © 1981 by Ursula Hegi

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First Chapter

Chapter 1

Megan Stone was walking along the deserted beach.

You will probably ask, Why another book about another woman walking along another beach? Another deserted beach, to be more specific. And you will sigh impatiently, wondering how soon Megan is going to arrive at some monumental insight which will liberate her dramatically from her husband, the demands of her children, and the eighty or ninety Christmas cards she feels obligated to send every year -- an insight which will leave her alone in an open-ended situation that could lead anywhere, not excluding nowhere.

Or you might scan the horizon of the plot, waiting for the appearance of a prospective lover, quite likely younger than Megan's forty-one years, who will introduce her to multiple orgasms and fellatio (in neither my Webster's Collegiate nor my Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary), not to mention various imaginative positions, some of them slightly uncomfortable, and who will serve as a catalyst to free her from her marriage. Naturally, you will expect Megan to sooner or later leave the younger lover (hereafter also referred to as Y.L.), in order to demonstrate her ability to make independent decisions.

Perhaps you imagine their bodies entangled in one of those small harbors of safety among the dunes, those little alcoves away from the ocean where the tall blades of grass protect them from being seen, where the fine sand is soft and white. You can follow the course of Y.L.'s suntanned hands as they explore Megan's body. She arches her back, moaning, as he parts her thighs with his bearded chin, his face nuzzling against the warm softness, his agile tonguecircling and probing. She locks her fingers into his thick black hair. Y.L. comes up for air and gets sand up his nose, while Megan, sitting up as she hears him cough and sneeze, gets sand up her...

There! Nothing like having your fantasy disrupted by the probabilities of reality. Of course you could have prevented this by including a blanket, one of those woven, striped Indian affairs in rich earthy colors: terra-cotta, Sahara beige, harvest yellow, tobacco brown. Or their position could be entirely different, precluding the possibility of sand obstructing the course of events.

Perhaps you don't want to imagine Megan in the traditionally submissive position, yielding only to those sensations that Y.L. chooses to expose her to. Yours might be a more aggressive, a more independent approach: Y.L. on his back, his knees bent, the only slightly callused soles of his feet digging into the warm sand, the muscles in his thighs trembling with what soon will be ecstasy, as Megan mounts the erection she created, lowering herself, slowly rotating while guiding Y.L.'s right hand to her clitoris (we'll do without worn terms such as surging, throbbing, sliding, etc.), then abandoning herself in a wild ride that would leave Attila the Hun in a cloud of dust, her long, wheat-blond hair whipping the salty breeze like a victorious banner.

Copyright © 1981 by Ursula Hegi

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