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Florence in Ecstasy Paperback – May 16, 2017

4.3 out of 5 stars 34 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Jessie Chaffee’s debut is an unflinching look at a woman’s attempt to outrun her demons… displaying not only diligent research but also an emotional intuition that brings Hannah to startling life.”―Publishers Weekly
“Jessie Chaffee’s thoughtful, provocative first novel… brings readers on a gentle tour of the glorious city and adjacent areas, of its habits, history, art and books.”―San Francisco Chronicle
“This is literary fiction that takes you deep into the heart and soul of Florence, Italy.”―Baltimore Style
“Jessie Chaffee’s protagonist Hannah finds herself in Florence far from home, unseen, unknown, estranged even from her body: in the most literal sense, in ecstasy. Chaffee’s fierce debut brings Hannah’s struggles, discoveries, and sweet triumphs to life.”―Claire Messud, New York Times best-selling author of The Burning Girl and The Emperor’s Children
Florence in Ecstasy evokes the beauty of the Florentine landscape as vividly as it depicts the physical, and spiritual, turmoil of a young woman on the edge. Hannah is never defined by her illness alone, but by the breadth of her intelligence and the depth of her emotional life. This is a remarkable debut―frank, serious, eloquent.”―Alice McDermott, National Book Award-winning author of The Ninth Hour and Charming Billy
“The most luminous debut novel I have read in a very long time . . . a darker and more literary version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s popular spiritual seeker’s memoir, Eat Pray Love.”―Mary Sharratt, author of Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen, for Feminism & Religion
“There is a classic but reimagined narrative at work here: a person’s existential reckoning on unfamiliar soil… a woman on the edge, in a liminal city that sits between the past and the present, searching for her missing body―which is to say, herself.” ―NPR
“Be ready to be provoked and transported by this haunting, beautiful novel of womanhood, the saints, and the mysteries of the body. Jessie Chaffee writes all this, and more, with a lyrical, fierce fragility.”―Krys Lee, author of How I Became a North Korean
“A moving meditation on art, beauty, and the female struggle to own her life by any means necessary, the novel is also a lovely guide to the churches of Florence and the Tuscan countryside, a primer on female Italian saints, and an initiation into the art of rowing.”―Washington Independent Review of Books
“The way Chaffee writes Hannah’s eating disorder cuts to the core of the psychology that is rarely the focus of eating disorder narratives, even though it is at the center of so many eating disorders themselves.”―Portland Press Herald
“Chaffee’s portrayal expertly brings to life this intoxicating city, from its abundance of food, wine, art, and romance, to the layers of space rarely invaded by tourists.”―Rain Taxi
Florence in Ecstasy rewards us with rich language that makes us long to read it again to uncover further subtleties, as we do when we revisit a familiar, haunting work of art. ”―Brooklyn Rail
“A fantastic debut with gorgeous language and a dreamy location.”―Read It Forward’s “Favorite Reads of May”
“Jessie Chaffee’s luminous debut is a hypnotic, addictive read.”―Katherine Howe, New York Times best-selling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
“A deeply affecting novel, it reminds us how easily the self can be lost and sometimes, with great difficulty, recreated. In perfectly calibrated prose, Jessie Chaffee depicts a woman in the throes of a devastating existential reckoning.”―Linsey Abrams, author of Our History in New York

About the Author

Jessie Chaffee was awarded a Fulbright Grant to complete Florence in Ecstasy and was the writer-in-residence at Florence University of the Arts. Her work has been published in The Rumpus, Slice, Bluestem, Global City Review, and The Sigh Press, among other places. She received her MFA from the City College of New York, and she lives in New York City, where she is an editor at Words Without Borders. Find her at www.JessieChaffee.com.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
  • Paperback : 240 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 194470017X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1944700171
  • Product Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Publisher : The Unnamed Press; 1st Edition (May 16, 2017)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 34 ratings

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