The Pagoda in the Garden

The Pagoda in the Garden

by Wendy Lesser
     
 

The Pagoda in the Garden is a novel about how things changed and how they stayed the same over the course of the twentieth century. Set in England during three distinct time periods between 1901 and 1975, the novel explores the lives of three sets of characters, the major ones being expatriate Americans. The reader meets a master novelist, his acolyte (herself…  See more details below

Overview

The Pagoda in the Garden is a novel about how things changed and how they stayed the same over the course of the twentieth century. Set in England during three distinct time periods between 1901 and 1975, the novel explores the lives of three sets of characters, the major ones being expatriate Americans. The reader meets a master novelist, his acolyte (herself later a master), and her lover; a divorced novelist on the verge of middle-age and the Canadian of indeterminate age who flirts with her; a graduate student at King's College and her English lover. Since the various characters occupy roles that parallel and overlap each other, history (a history that ranges from the death of Queen Victoria to the end of the Vietnam War) comes to seem continuous and cyclical as well as catastrophic and disrupted. Paying acknowledged tribute to the work of Henry James (the title alludes to a passage in The Golden Bowl), The Pagoda in the Garden is above all a novel about human emotions and the sometimes fraught, sometimes amusing complications they give rise to.

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Editorial Reviews

Ron Charles
The three parallel stories that compose Wendy Lesser's new novel are like stop-frame photos that illustrate shifts that are not so obvious in the rapid motion of time. By freezing intensely personal moments from 1901, 1956 and 1973, The Pagoda in the Garden highlights changes not in technology or politics but in perception.
— The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590511763
Publisher:
Other Press, LLC
Publication date:
10/05/2005
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Lesser is the founding editor of The Threepenny Review and the author of six previous books. She has received fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, among others, and her critical journalism appears regularly in national and international publications. She lives, most of the time, in Berkeley, California. The Pagoda in the Garden is her first novel.

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