by Victoria Lancelotta

Publisher:  Counterpoint Press

Pub Date:  Fall 2003

Format:   Hardcover

Brief Description
The debut novel by the critically-acclaimed author of HERE IN THE WORLD.

"'Grace is something I don't have,' the narrator of FAR says, a longing that keeps her searching. Lost between the lightness of desire and the burden of regret, Martha is a painfully honest young woman on the cusp of adulthood who chooses exile rather than give away what's best in herself. Victoria Lancelotta has written an intimate, honest novel about trying to find a place in the world."
--Stewart O'Nan
author of Wish You Were Here and Prayer for the Dying


"Victoria Lancelotta's stories are precisely conceived and exquisitely rendered. Dark and intricate, smoky and alluring, HERE IN THE WORLD delivers on its promises."
--Madison Smartt Bell


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"Victoria Lancelotta's fiction is maddened by Catholicism and charged by a sexuality that is raucous, disturbed, frisky, fun, raffish, and refined. In the old Frankenstein-meets-Werewolf motif, it's O'Connor meets Hawkes."
--Padgett Powell

"It's all here. The soiled sister. Rough sex with a blind man. Mother gone mad. Father dying. All of it. The irresistible brother-in-law. What's left after a husband. Prayer, screaming. Skin carved with initals or bitten by horseshoe crabs. Bars from Carolinas to Delaware. Women you must never be. Here. Dressed up like a babe. Half agreeing. Mystical, scary stories that are all hers. Severe, brilliant, Victoria Lancelotta. Who keeps the flame fixed on high burn. Who is a genius of holy beauty, of ecstasy and dread."
--Mary Robison

"These fierce, nasty stories are the flagellant's skin, marked by her own hand, Catholic from birth.  Maybe this is what happens when young girls are raised in the only remaining, fully functioning, mystery religion. Lancelotta writes like an angel, perhaps because she was trained to be one."
--Frederick Barthelme

"Victoria Lancelotta's stories come on hot and sharp and salty, but under the sensuousness lurks a bladelike clarity. Her young women are grappling with more than just the dangerous, soul-shaking mysteries of sex and intimacy and adulthood. At the heart of HERE IN THE WORLD lies an even more troubling core of loneliness and loss, of wisdom earned at a high price."
--Stewart O'Nan



"Lancelotta nails the spirit-sinking landscapes of Baltimore and a no-name southern town with a scintillating precision of detail....Lancelotta skillfully moves back and forth in time, mingling Martha's Baltimore memories... with an account of her pristine new existence...Smart, taut writing and terrifically tactile first-person narration."

"In her raw and unsettling first novel, acclaimed short-story writer Lancelotta searingly examines the family ties that sustain us as children but often smother us as adults....With steely-eyed insight, Lancelotta cuts to the heart of a young woman's longing for connection and her reflexive self-denial." --ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (A-)

"Far, the affecting debut novel from Victoria Lancelotta, is a meditation on urban loneliness and desire that, in addition to gorgeous language, an acerbic narrator, and a frankly erotic story line, has something more in store for Baltimoreans: the shock of the familiar....Lancelotta's narrative sensibilities are as straight and true as her protagonist's life is wandering--and her language is both economical and devastatingly specific (a group of going-nowhere-fast teenage girls are laid bare in a single image: "[they] sat on the hoods of cars at the far end of the lot, smoking cigarettes and spraying perfume from small bottles they pulled from peeling imitation leather purses")".
--Review By Lily Thayer

"Victoria Lancelotta's first novel, Far (Counterpoint), is written in the finest shades of gray, an extended literary snapshot of her youngish protagonist's increasing grief over a life not-so-well-spent....Far's melancholic words are so well-crafted they can reintroduce readers' ears to the sound of contemporary prose as living art."
--PW Daily "Book of the Day"

"Lancelotta is a razor's-edge writer with an existential streak and a fascination with the dichotomies of being....Writing with the surgical precision, dark sexuality, and psychological suspense of Annie Ernaux, Joan Didion, and Siri Hustvedt, Lancelotta spotlights transforming moments in Martha's spare life." --Booklist

"Far is gritty, mean, hopeful, bright and a very worthy read."
Baltimore Sun

(for Here in the World)
"These elegant vignettes ... press us, face first, into our own needs, into the raw fact of the body's desires..."
--The New York Times Book Review

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