From the Publisher
“How a book can be at once so raw and so artful is a mystery; The Pure Lover joins a handful of necessary volumes that speak directly from grief’s wild, inconsolable center, and readers will find it bracing, unflinching, and honest to the core.”
—Mark Doty, author of Heaven’s Coast
“A wrenching and boldly intimate lament.”
“The Pure Lover leaves one exalted . . . A lovely book, joyful, plangent and true.”
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
“The Pure Lover is a short but moving elegy. . . . It’s a difficult subject, handled with lyricism, pain, indiscretion and love.”
—Margaret Drabble, New Statesman
“David Plante’s fine meditation on love and loss is the work of one who has been there and who knows that it is the dying who are losing all and that the grief we obtain is the survivor’s treasure.”
“Innovative and incantatory . . . Bracingly poignant . . . A cumulative portrait, taken in snapshots, of a long-term gay relationship that’s as valid a marriage as any other.”
—Jason Roush, The Gay and Lesbian Review
“A fierce encapsulation of grief, the fundamentally private wrought wrenchingly public. This sublime remembrance—more a compilation of memory fragments than a linear life story—evokes a whole man (in truth, two whole men).”
—Richard Labonte, Book Marks: Best of 2009
…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
In this simple, heartfelt memoir, author Plante (The Family, American Ghosts) shares a series of disjointed memories about his lover for 40 years, the recently deceased Nikos. Reflecting the way longtime partners become one, even Nikos's earliest first-person recollections enter into Plante's memoir, including dreamy passages about Nikos's childhood in Greece: watching his mother leave, witnessing his father dying in bed, attending college in the U.S. Having met in London in their mid-20s, Plante and Nikos immediately began a relationship that would last a lifetime. Readers unfamiliar with either man's literary legacy won't get much of an education; references to their careers are sparing, and the absence not only keeps readers at arm's-length, but gives the material an unanchored feel. The book ultimately seems written for an audience of two, rather than a general readership; Plante's intimate, guarded tone keeps readers feeling like intruders.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.