Constance by Catherine Cantrell
A Novel

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Synopsis

Constance is about a writer hypnotized by the power of art and language, and about the woman who tells her story. The narrator is an editor, working at a prestigious New York house, whose youthful ideals and belief in literature have been eroded by the practicalities of the publishing world.

Then she meets Constance, a writer whose poetry and haunted personality overwhelm and intrigue her. But Constance remains a mystery no matter how the editor attempts to draw her out—until a newspaper photograph exposes what the poet has been so determined to conceal.

Finally, Constance reveals her story to the woman who has waited so long to hear it: a story of passion, secrets, and blinkered devotion; a story of mentors and muses and the love of a powerful man; a story that keeps Constance’s editor asking questions and searching for answers until the end.

In Constance, Catherine Cantrell has created a beautifully crafted portrait of an uncompromising poet—and of the editor who tries to befriend her.
 

About Catherine Cantrell

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Catherine Cantrell is a graduate of Duke University. She lives in New York City.
 
Published July 9, 2002 by Random House. 224 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Constance

Kirkus Reviews

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Manhattan book editor Morgan Clifford’s fascinated empathy with the figure of the eponymous Constance Chamberlain, a young poet who combines traces of Sylvia Plath and (her idol) Emily Dickinson with a frustratingly unfulfilled personal life, (just barely) dramatizes her surmise that “poetry .

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Publishers Weekly

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Constance's poems are interspersed throughout the narrative, as if to test Morgan's suggestion that Constance circumvent the publishing industry's reluctance to publish unknown poets by weaving her poetry into a novel.

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Entertainment Weekly

At the center of Cantrell's elegantly written examination of love, art, and passion is Morgan, a widowed book editor who becomes intrigued by Constance, an enigmatic poet.

Aug 09 2002 | Read Full Review of Constance: A Novel

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