I am crazy about epistolary narratives—I used to be a big letter writer, but time and technology has pretty much made that all go away for me. So I get my 'hit' from books like this one. It's inspired by the relationship between Flannery O'Conner and Robert Lowell and follows their changing relationships over a number of years. Both are very clever, but have their quirks (and demons) that bring them together— and pull them apart. I found this book a lovely way to 'experience' the writing life, a complicated love affair, and a struggle with faith and addiction. This is a wonderful, bittersweet story from a debut novelist, and I happily recommend it—it would make a fantastic book club read." ~Jackie--Jackie is way ahead of the pack among Tattered Cover book bloggers. She's a powerhouse
Indie Next ListMarch 2013
The main characters in this lovely gem of a novel are loosely based on Flannery O'Connor and Robert Lowell. The story is told entirely in the form of letters -- not an easy feat, but Bauer makes it work beautifully. Frances and Bernard meet in the late 1950s at a writer's colony, and though they don't immediately click, Bernard sends Frances a letter that begins an intense philosophical, spiritual, and physical relationship. A true treat for readers! -- Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS
"Dazzling and gorgeously written, Frances and Bernard features a pair of brilliant, complicated writers who present themselves to each other in letters that form the most exciting epistolary novel in recent memory. A slim book, it still seems to say all of the important things about friendship, faith, love, the literary life, and especially the costs of living as an artist while still inhabiting the real world. It’s a marvel." —Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier and Songs Without Words
About the Author
Carlene Bauer is the author of the memoir Not That Kind of Girl, described as "soulful" by Walter Kirn in Elle and "approaching the greatness of Cantwell" in the New York Post. She has written for the likes of n +1, Slate, Salon, and the New York Times.