After Eden: A Novel (Literature of the American West) by Valerie Miner

By Valerie Miner

Loss and renewal within the lives of somebody and a communityAfter Eden is a provocative novel that examines the which means of domestic and homelessness between those who see such matters as greater than abstractions. In a narrative populated by means of Pomo Indians, Euro-American ranchers and vintners, and Mexican American migrant employees, Valerie Miner deftly juxtaposes differing cultural perspectives of desert, trespassing, and residential. Her dramatic novel is modern, whereas reflecting on centuries of swap in a probably Edenic place.Looking ahead to aid from her activity as a urban planner in Chicago, Emily Adams starts a much-needed holiday at her Northern California cabin. however the unexpected loss of life of her lifestyles associate forces her to reconsider own commitments. stuck up in mirrored image, she involves comprehend the intricacies of lifestyles in her pastoral retreat—complexities that she had by no means prior to considered.In the modern day Eden of California’s coastal variety, Emily unearths clash throughout her: among loggers and environmentalists, farmworkers and immigration gurus, newbies setting up a lesbian group and long-time citizens clinging to conventional ways.As Emily learns to beat grief, her tale strikes from loss to renewal for either the person and the group. A decidedly feminist view of the recent West, After Eden weaves lyrical prose with a distinct examine “family values” and what it particularly skill to be human.

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Example text

Chicago was a great, lively city, but a safe one? Were cities safe? ‘‘You can’t fight the elements,’’ he frowned. ’’ She stopped at the gate. He hopped out, unlocked and held it open as she drove through. Emily flexed her knuckles on the steering wheel. ’’ With cool deliberation, she stepped on the gas pedal. Heading uphill, she puzzled that he meant well, but there was something perverse about his sending her home to Chicago. ‘‘Emily, it’s craziness here. Not just the phone thing. ’’ She heard herself saying all this in the same flabbergasted tone to Salerno.

She felt amused, but okay, with the small hemp industry (eco-friendly, gender neutral—according to the local community radio promo) which produced scratchy socks and dubious face cream and nontoxic firestarter. She supported the ‘‘Medical Use of Marijuana’’ movement. But some of the dope farms were organized crime operations. A state trooper had been killed during an inspection last year. Emily thought now about Virginia’s partner Sally, who was growing more and more pot. Salerno had told Emily she’d have to stop drinking zinfandel before she could censor Sally, and Emily supposed she was right.

Michael was being introduced. ‘‘Eva,’’ she heard Virginia’s strong Idaho farm voice. ’’ Michael tipped an invisible hat. Oh, god, how she hated silly social games. But what did she want? For them to sit and wail with her, to screech out their lungs until they had no voices, no mouths, no bodies, until all of them and everything was no more?

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