Chasm by Dorothea Tanning

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A Surrealist novel in the vein of Angela Carter, about love and beauty and dark secrets. Played out like the command of an oracle are the events that stain one night in the improbable setting of this desert tale. Rearing its impudent architecture like insult on a landscape of quiet beauty is Windcote, "its very name a masquerade," where inhabitants and guests find themselves driven by obsessions and confusions they have never faced before. Here doors open and close and open again. They hide, release, reveal, and ruin. In this web of tangled imperatives is the child, Destina, untouched by the fevers and failures around her. Her own world is outside in the mystery-locked canyon where, for the time of this story, she seems to find her own truth

About Dorothea Tanning

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She was born in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1910 & learned to paint by visiting art museums. She attended Knox college, studied art in Chicago & in 1935 moved to New York City, where she supported herself with advertising art & painted in her spare time. A preoccupation with architecture, especially doors, windows & deep tunneling spaces, is a keynote of her style. Before & after her marriage to Max ernst she was occupied with stage & costume design for the likes of George Balachine & others.
Published November 1, 2001 by Turtle Point Pr. 176 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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(No wall calendars in the breakfast nook for them.) Nadine and Albert are to be two members of a larger dinner party at Meridian’s ranch, and as the preparations churn ahead the reader learns of Destina’s mysterious friends, her collection of eyeballs, and her mercurial behavior toward the doting...

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Kirkus Reviews

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Albert finds himself wandering through the house, where he encounters young Destina, who shows him her “memory box” filled with objects of surpassing strangeness—“the claws and tails of gila monsters, skins of reptiles, spotted eggs, even single eyes preserved in tiny jars”—and describes the frie...

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The Guardian

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She's not the first Surrealist painter to write a novel - De Chirico wrote Hebdomeros in 1929, while Dali published Hidden Faces 15 years later - but Chasm: A Weekend is the first novel by a Surrealist artist that firmly establishes its creator's literary credentials alongside her reputation as ...

Sep 18 2004 | Read Full Review of Chasm

Entertainment Weekly

Dorothea Tanning's image-driven prose isn't always easy to follow, but like Meridian, Chasm: A Weekend is ''a monument of puzzling freakishness.'' Originally posted Oct 22, 2004 Published in issue #789 Oct 22, 2004 Order article reprints

Oct 22 2004 | Read Full Review of Chasm

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