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Florence in Ecstasy Paperback – May 16, 2017
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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“Jessie Chaffee's luminous debut Florence in Ecstasy is a hypnotic, addictive read. The shade of E. M. Forster stalks the heels of this story of one American woman at a crossroads in her life, in prose as lyrical and precise as it is evocative and haunting. Florence in Ecstasy delves with insight into the foreignness we find so often in our own bodies, in our own selves, giving name to that strange tension between presence and absence. Hannah of Boston tiptoes toward her own kind of hideous rapture, a beauty so devastating that we cannot look away.” ―Katherine Howe, New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
“Florence in Ecstasy is 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 the novels Our History in New York, Double Vision, and Charting the Stars, and the libretto for the opera Rappaccini’s Daughter.
"Jessie Chaffee's debut novel is an unflinching look at a woman’s attempt to outrun her demons through an international escape... displaying not only diligent research but also an emotional intuition that brings Hannah to startling life and makes her story quite moving." ―Publishers Weekly
"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. Jessie Chaffee's 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 Charming Billy and Someone
"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 Emperor's Children and The Woman Upstairs
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.
Top customer reviews
The writing is unbelievable, you are immersed and really feel a part of the true "small town" that is Florence. I felt like I was there again and was gripped by the story that Ms. Chaffee beautifully told.
i thought I ordered one, but actually ordered two. So glad I loved the book! Gave it as a gift to another friend who I traveled to Italy with!