O, The Oprah Magazine “Title to Pick Up Now”
American Library Association “Over the Rainbow List” selection
Welcome to Palmerino, the British enclave in rural Italy where Violet Paget, known to the world by her pen name and male persona, Vernon Lee, held court. In imagining the real life of this brilliant, lesbian polymath known for her chilling supernatural stories, Melissa Pritchard creates a multilayered tale in which the dead writer inhabits the heart and mind of her lonely, modern-day biographer.
Positing the art of biography as an act of resurrection and possession, this novel brings to life a vividly detailed, subtly erotic tale about secret loves and the fascinating artists and intellectuals—Oscar Wilde, John Singer Sargent, Henry James, Robert Browning, Bernard Berenson—who challenged and inspired each other during an age of repression.
Melissa Pritchard is the author of eight books of fiction, including The Odditorium, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. Among other honors, her books have received the Flannery O'Connor, Janet Heidinger Kafka, and Carl Sandburg awards, and two of her short fiction collections were New York Times Notable Book and Editors’ Choice selections.