Actress in the House by Joseph McElroy

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When Joseph McElroy’s debut novel, A Smuggler’s Bible, was first published in 1966, it was hailed in the New York Times as a novel of "daring, range, and brilliant subtlety…to ignore it would be as shameful an act of blind self-deprivation as that which so many of us performed when The Recognitions and Under the Volcano were first published." Actress in the House is his first novel in twelve years, a provocative and imaginative work that explores the mysterious interaction of memory, abuse, love, and violence.

Struck in the face, the actress on stage is staggered but doesn’t fall. She gazes into the audience, staring with bloody nose at the middle-aged man in the eighth row of this obscure downtown warehouse theater who is drawn in by this violence unmistakably over the line. Daley has never set eyes on this actress before, yet is not entirely unacquainted with her either. Almost against his will, her life will invade his, her efforts to break free of those who have tried to control her, and worse. As Becca and Daley begin the uncertain process of discovering one another, talking surprisingly, absorbingly, with a humor and uncanny closeness on the night streets of mid-1990s New York, they slowly unearth the events—both past and present—that have brought them together and may tear them apart.


About Joseph McElroy

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Joseph McElroy is the author of eight acclaimed novels, including A Smuggler's Bible, Hind's Kidnap, Ancient History, Lookout Cartridge, Plus, Women and Men, and The Letter Left to Me.
Published April 1, 2003 by Overlook Hardcover. 445 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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