These Good Hands

These Good Hands

by Carol Bruneau


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These Good Hands by Carol Bruneau

Set in the early autumn of 1943, the These Good Hands interweaves the biography of French sculptor Camille Claudel and the story of the nurse who cares for her during the final days of her thirty-year incarceration in France's Montdevergues Asylum. Biographers have suggested that Claudel survived her long internment by writing letters, few of which left the asylum because of her strict sequestration; in Bruneau's novel, these letters are reimagined in a series, penned to her younger self, the sculptor, popularly known as Rodin's tragic mistress. They trace the trajectory of her career in Belle Époque Paris and her descent into the stigmatizing illness that destroyed it. The nurse's story is revealed in her journal, which describes her labours and the ethical dilemma she eventually confronts. Through her letters, Camille relives the limits of her perseverance, and through her journal, Nurse confronts the limits of hers; these limits include the faith these women have in themselves, in the then-current advances in psychiatric medicine, and in a God whose existence is challenged by the war raging outside the enclosed world of the asylum. In her dying days, Camille teaches the nurse lessons in compassion and, ultimately, in what it means to endure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781770864276
Publisher: Cormorant Books
Publication date: 04/01/2015
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

CAROL BRUNEAU's previous novels have been universally acclaimed; they include: Glass Voices, a Globe and Mail Book of the Year; Purple for Sky, which won the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize and the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction; and Berth. Her books have been translated into German and published in the US. Born in Halifax, Carol is a graduate of Dalhousie University (BA and MA) and the University of Western Ontario (MA in journalism). She has been writer-in-residence at Dalhousie (2009) and Acadia (2001). Currently, she is an instructor at NSCAD University in Haliax.

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