Carla Harryman describes GARDENER OF STARS as "an experimental novel that explores the paradise and wastelands of utopian desire." The book offers a mythic history of a post-historical city situated in a garden landscape whose inhabitants are engaged in perpetual tending, limitless generation. Their generatings and tendings take place in speculation and dream, practical and impractical invention, desire and copious sex - all facets of a politicized eros and an erotic politics. The utopia in question ("the unruly utopia of the senses that is not in conflict with the world's current") must be understood first not in terms of place but in terms of personage. M, Serena, Gardener (the eponymous heroine of the novel) are themselves utopias (as distinct from utopians) surviving in a painfully fraught (though sometimes beautiful) milieu. Negotiating this milieu, the various characters come into contact (or, more precisely, throw themselves into contact) with events that are in a ceaseless process
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Published October 11, 2001
Literature & Fiction.