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The Blood of Paradise

Stephen Goodwin. Preface by Richard Bausch

BUY Cloth · 242 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813918778 · $21.95 · May 2000

Stephen Goodwin's second novel is an emblematic tale of the sixties, of a sophisticated couple going back to the land. The restlessness that compels Anna and Steadman to move from the city to a small mountain farm in Virginia is brought into high relief by the cycles of the natural world, and by the arrival of Anna's demonic twin sister. Goodwin's prose, by turns stark and pastoral, outlines these struggles while leavening them with self-effacing humor and beauty. Peopled with hippies and mountain folk, artists and farmers both organic and traditional, not to mention an unforgettable child, The Blood of Paradise evokes an era through a sensitive and unstinting portrait of marriage.


The Blood of Paradise is suffused with a radiance only rarely bestowed upon the incidents of ordinary life.

A lucid, persuasive, self-aware work of pastoral realism, centering on a thoroughly modern young family's struggle to homestead, for aesthetic reasons, in Virginia's Appalachian Mountains.

A book that seems laden, rich, powerful. It tells a complicated story without any attempts to analyze or oversimplify, and the three characters at its center are so profoundly alive that whatever room you're reading this in will seem densely populated.

Stephen Goodwin assembles his materials with grace and precision, as if he were building a log mansion in a virgin forest, and he traces most subtly the shifting hopes and needs of the husband and wife, as four seasons give and take life around them (both wild and domestic) at a rate that seems wonderful and terrible by turns.

About the Author(s): 

Stephen Goodwin's first novel was Kin. He is Professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University. His short fiction and criticism have appeared in Shenandoah, Sewanee Review, and The New Republic. Richard Bausch is the author of numerous books of fiction, most recently the novel, In the Night Season.

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