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Michael Dirda…despite the subtitle and the repeated use of "wrenching" in its dust jacket blurbs…The Pure Lover leaves one exalted rather than depressed. To me, it recalls both The Orchard, Harry Mathews's similarly pointillist portrait of his friend, the experimental novelist Georges Perec, and Gore Vidal's unblinking account in Point to Point Navigation of the illness and death of his longtime partner, Howard Austen…It would be going too far to call this evocation of a beloved companion now lost a pure pleasure to read. But out of the fragments, Proustian moments and sharply felt memories of a happy and painful past, David Plante has made a lovely book, joyful, plangent and true.
—The Washington Post