After Eden: A Novel (Literature of the American West) by Valerie Miner

By Valerie Miner

Loss and renewal within the lives of anyone and a communityAfter Eden is a provocative novel that examines the which means of domestic and homelessness between those that see such concerns as greater than abstractions. In a narrative populated through Pomo Indians, Euro-American ranchers and vintners, and Mexican American migrant workers, Valerie Miner deftly juxtaposes differing cultural perspectives of desolate tract, trespassing, and residential. Her dramatic novel is modern, whereas reflecting on centuries of swap in a probably Edenic place.Looking ahead to aid from her task as a urban planner in Chicago, Emily Adams starts a much-needed holiday at her Northern California cabin. however the unexpected demise of her lifestyles companion forces her to reconsider own commitments. stuck up in mirrored image, she involves comprehend the intricacies of existence in her pastoral retreat—complexities that she had by no means sooner than considered.In the modern day Eden of California’s coastal diversity, Emily reveals clash throughout her: among loggers and environmentalists, farmworkers and immigration experts, beginners setting up a lesbian group and long-time citizens clinging to conventional ways.As Emily learns to beat grief, her tale strikes from loss to renewal for either the person and the group. A decidedly feminist view of the hot West, After Eden weaves lyrical prose with a unique examine “family values” and what it quite potential to be human.

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Sample text

At each visit these beautiful behemoths startled her. Some were wide as houses, others taller than apartment buildings. She loved everything about the park, imagined the whole Valley looked like this during Pomo days, before the Russian hunters, before the Anglo farmers hacked out orchards for planting and cleared ranges for grazing, before the lumber companies discovered their organic gold. These woods had been a sacred place. As they padded deeper into the grove, the ground was softer, damper, layered with needles and branches.

She was shocked at this inheritance, although Salerno always joked that Emily would make a million after she was gone. Shocked that part of Salerno was still living. ‘‘No,’’ she said fiercely. ’’ ‘‘Don’t make rash decisions,’’ he began, then seeing her stricken face, he stopped. ’’ She had made the reservation for eight and couldn’t bear the idea of an early evening su√ocated by more pages of tax and will and deed forms. They could finish their paperwork more e≈ciently in the clarity of morning. ’’ Emily remembered the elaborately decorated birthday cakes Mom had baked for Michael (strawberry frosting) and for herself (chocolate frosting) each year of their childhood.

Maybe the fuel tanks. Maybe pilot error. Lindsey and Virginia talked endlessly about the FAA investigation, the class action suit. Emily wondered o√ during these conversations, staring out a window, sometimes seeing what was on the other side, sometimes not. Knowing what caused the crash would not bring back Salerno. Eventually the others stopped discussing the accident in Emily’s presence. If she was preoccupied with anything outside grief, it was with the weathered sticks. She hadn’t shown them to anyone, for they came wrapped in secrecy.

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