Eustace Chisholm and the Works

Eustace Chisholm and the Works

by James Purdy


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"[S]o good that almost any novel you read immediately after it will seem at least a little bit posturing." —Jonathan Franzen

No James Purdy novel has dazzled contemporary writers more than this haunting tale of unrequited love in an indifferent world. A seedy depression-era boarding house in Chicago plays host to "a game of emotional chairs" (The Guardian) in a novel initially condemned for its frank depiction of abortion, homosexuality, and life on the margins of American society. A cast of characters displaced by economic distress congeal around the embittered poet Eustace Chisholm, who acts as a something of a Greek chorus for the doomed and destructive relationship that is instigated when landlord Daniel Haws falls in love with young college student Amos Ratcliffe. Building to a shocking conclusion, Eustace Chisholm and the Works is a dark and gothic look at the strange and terrible power of love amid a "psychic American landscape of deluded innocence, sexual obsession, violence, and isolation" (William Grimes, New York Times).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780871409522
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 04/13/2015
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

James Purdy, born in 1914, is undergoing a major literary renaissance. The author of Malcolm and now The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy, he lived in New York until his death in 2009.

What People are Saying About This

Angus Wilson

A remarkable achievement...Purdy is a natural at the mixing of the horrible, the wildly funny, and the very sad.

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