Suspicious River by Laura Kasischke

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"The first time I had sex with a man for money, it was September —still like summer, but the heat in the motel room was on and it seemed to coat my throat with dust. The man was dull, small-eyed, no taller than myself, but he seemed afraid. He wouldn't look at me. When I asked him what he wanted me to do, he said, 'That's your job.'" So begins the poet Laura Kasischke's mesmerizing and unforgettable first novel. Leila Murray is the novel's narrator - young, married, living in a small town, and working in a motel as a receptionist, then as a prostitute. Leila slowly discloses the details of her childhood, her mother's murder, and the numb promiscuity of her adolescence, while contemporary events unfold and lead her to the dark turn her life will take one October weekend when she meets a man named Gary Jensen.

About Laura Kasischke

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Laura Kasischke teaches in the University of Michigan MFA program and the Residential College. She has published seven collections of poetry and seven novels. She lives with her family in Chelsea, Michigan.
Published July 15, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In increasingly frightening set pieces that leave the reader rapt, Gary slyly sets Leila up to be his working whore, servicing his friends, as Leila, believing herself loved, begins to relive the time 17 years before when she watched as her beautiful mother, then the same age Leila is now, was sl...

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Publishers Weekly

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Bestowing her gift of lyricism upon a sordid subject, acclaimed poet Kasischke (Wild Brides, 1992 winner of the Bobst Award for Emerging Writers) limns a young married woman's plunge into prostitution in a first novel that, despite alchemical prose, leaves the reader feeling as breathless and ent...

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