Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What is Dale M. Kushner reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Dale M. Kushner, author of The Conditions of Love.

Her entry begins:
Here’s my idea of heaven: a cabin in the woods, pine-scented wind, a lake full of sky. Time dissolved and I can read uninterrupted!

For now, I’ve just finished Alexander Chee’s Edinburgh. Chee is a writer who knows about the sacred, about moments of love and beauty that save us from being swallowed by a dark cosmos. In prose both muscular and hauntingly lyrical, Chee reveals the story of Fee, a sensitive Korean-American boy growing up in small town Maine. Early on, Fee is told a family legend by his Korean grandfather: they are descended from The Lady Tammamo, a demon fox spirit who assumed the form of a beautiful woman to marry a human—a shape-shifter. Fee embraces the legend, and Chee astutely weaves the image of the fox into his narrative to underscore the mythic quality of Fee’s life. The fox represents...[read on]
About The Conditions of Love, from the publisher:
Dale M. Kushner's novel The Conditions of Love traces the journey of a girl from childhood to adulthood as she reckons with her parents' abandonment, her need to break from society's limitations, and her overwhelming desire for spiritual and erotic love. In 1953, ten-year-old Eunice lives in the backwaters of Wisconsin with her outrageously narcissistic mother, a manicureeste and movie star worshipper. Abandoned by her father as an infant, Eunice worries that she will become a misfit like her mother. When her mother's lover, the devoted Sam, moves in, Eunice imagines her life will finally become normal. But her hope dissolves when Sam gets kicked out, and she is again alone with her mother. A freak storm sends Eunice away from all things familiar. Rescued by the shaman-like Rose, Eunice's odyssey continues with a stay in a hermit's shack and ends with a passionate love affair with an older man. Through her capacity to redefine herself, reject bitterness and keep her heart open, she survives and flourishes. In this, she is both ordinary and heroic. At once fable and realistic story, The Conditions of Love is a book about emotional and physical survival. Through sheer force of will, Eunice saves herself from a doomed life.

This engaging examination of a mother and daughter's relationship will appeal to the same audience that embraced Mona Simpson's acclaimed classic Anywhere But Here and Elizabeth Strout's bestselling Amy and Isabelle.
Learn more about the book and author at Dale Kushner's website and blog.

Writers Read: Dale M. Kushner.

--Marshal Zeringue