Ava by Carole Maso
A Novel

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Synopsis

Ava Klein, thirty-nine, lover of life, world traveler, professor of comparative literature, is dying. From her hospital bed on this, her last day on earth, she makes one final ecstatic voyage. People, places, offhand memories, and imaginary things drift in and out of Ava's consciousness and weave their way through the narrative. The voices of her three former husbands emerge: Francesco, a filmmaker from Rome; Anatole, lost in the air over France; Carlos, a teenager from Granada. The ways people she loved expressed themselves in letters or at the beach or at the moment of desire return to her. There is Danilo, her current lover, a Czech novelist, and others, lovers of one night, as she sings the endless, joyous, erotic song cycles of her life, because "Dusk and the moment right before shapes are taken back is erotic. And the dark." The voices of her literary loves as well are woven into the narrative: Woolf, Eliot, Nabokov, Beckett, Sarraute, Lorca, Frisch, among others. These writers comment on and help guide us through the text. We hear the voices of her parents, who survived the Treblinka death camp, and of her Aunt Sophie, who did not. War permeates the text, for on Ava Klein's last day Iraq has invaded Kuwait. And above all we hear Ava's voice. Hers is the voice of pleasure, of astonishment, the voice of regret, the voice of gratitude as she moves closer and closer to the "music that is silence." Ava is an attempt, in the words of French feminist philosopher Helene Cixous, "to come up with a language that heals as much as it separates." The fragments of the novel are combined to make a new kind of wholeness, allowing environments, states of mind, and rhythms not ordinarilyassociated with fiction to emerge. Ava's theme is the poignancy of mortality, the extraordinary desire to live, the inevitability of death - the things never done, never understood, the things never said, or said right, or said enough. Ava yearns and the reader yearns with her, struggling
 

About Carole Maso

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Carole Maso is author of the novels "AVA, The American WomanCarole Maso is author of the novels "AVA, The American Woman in the Chinese Hat, Ghost Dance, The Art Lover, " and "Defi in the Chinese Hat, Ghost Dance, The Art Lover, " and "Defiance". She has also written several books of nonfiction. Masance". She has also written several books of nonfiction. Maso is a professor of Literary Arts at Brown University. o is a professor of Literary Arts at Brown University.
 
Published April 1, 1993 by Dalkey Archive Pr. 274 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ava

Publishers Weekly

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As in her innovative, passionate previous novels, Ghost Dance and The Art Lover , Maso's third work of fiction presents heartbreakingly familiar emotions in an utterly original form. Reminiscent of Jo

Mar 01 1993 | Read Full Review of Ava: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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The author's deft use of repetition and amplification binds together and thickens Ava's story, which is further enriched by captivating flashes of imagery: ``the rose called Cuisse de Nymphe Emue: Thigh of an Aroused Nymph.'' (Maso provides endnotes to help readers with more obscure references.) ...

| Read Full Review of Ava: A Novel

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