In the stark beauty of the desert, a mansion built by a madman rears its impudent architecture like an insult.
The estate is called Windcote, its very name a masquerade, and its master, the odious Raoul Meridian, has invited a group of guests to spend a weekend, during the course of which they will find themselves driven by obsessions and confusions unlike any they ve experienced before. Among them is Albert, a disowned scion searching for an identity, and his too-beautiful companion Nadine, who is irresistibly drawn to the desert and the inscrutable vortex of Windcote. Living deep within this world of fevers and failures is the indomitable child Destina, who will lead them into the heart of a mysterious canyon, where desire and cruelty forge an implacable truth.
Dorothea Tanning, whose surrealist vision has been acclaimed worldwide as one of our era s most bold and acute, brings her formidable imagination and exquisite prose style to bear on a novel of incantatory power. As perceptively inventive as Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
and as disquieting as Henry James's The Turn of the Screw
is a novel that will linger in the memories of readers long after they turn its last page.
It seems hardly fair that Dorothea Tanning, in a long, passionately inventive career as a painter, should have acquired as well the other harmony of prose, and that her passionate inventions as a writer should be so lovingly, so wisely resolved. Richard Howard