Sea Lovers: Selected Stories

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From the bestselling author of Mary Reilly and the internationally acclaimed Property, a brilliant collection featuring Valerie Martin's finest short stories to date.

     For four decades Valerie Martin has been publishing novels and stories that demonstrate her incredible range as a writer, moving between realism and fantasy while employing a voice that is at once whimsical and tragic. The twelve stories in this collection showcase Martin's enviable control, precision, and grace and are organized around her three fictional obsessions—the natural world, the artistic sphere, and stunning transformations. In "The Change," a journalist watches his menopausal wife, an engraver, create some of her eeriest and most affecting works even as she seems to be willfully destroying their marriage. In "The Open Door," an American poet in Rome finds herself forced to choose between her lover and a world so alien it takes her voice away. "Sea Lovers" conjures up a hideous mermaid whose fatal seduction of a fisherman provides better reason than Jaws for staying out of the water. In "The Incident at Villedeau" a respected gentleman confesses to killing his wife's former lover, an event that could be construed as an accident, an impulsive act, or a premeditated crime. Exploring themes of obsession, justice, passion, and duplicity, these drolly macabre stories buzz with tension.


From the Hardcover edition.
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About the author

VALERIE MARTIN is the author of ten novels, including The Ghost of the Mary CelesteThe Confessions of Edward Day, TrespassMary ReillyItalian Fever, and Property; three collections of short fiction; and a biography of Saint Francis of Assisi, titled Salvation. She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Kafka Prize (for Mary Reilly) and Britain's Orange Prize (for Property).


From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Aug 18, 2015
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780385533539
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Contemporary Women
Fiction / Humorous / General
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A captivating, atmospheric return to historical fiction that is every bit as convincing and engrossing as Martin's landmark Mary Reilly.

In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found.

This maritime mystery lies at the center of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late-nineteenth-century literary society. While on a voyage to Africa, a rather hard-up and unproven young writer named Arthur Conan Doyle hears of the Mary Celeste and decides to write an outlandish short story about what took place. This story causes quite a sensation back in the United States, particularly between sought-after Philadelphia spiritualist medium Violet Petra and a rational-minded journalist named Phoebe Grant, who is seeking to expose Petra as a fraud. Then there is the family of the Mary Celeste's captain, a family linked to the sea for generations and marked repeatedly by tragedy. Each member of this ensemble cast holds a critical piece to the puzzle of the Mary Celeste.

These three elements—a ship found sailing without a crew, a famous writer on the verge of enormous success, and the rise of an unorthodox and heretical religious fervor—converge in unexpected ways, in diaries, in letters, in safe harbors and rough seas. In a haunted, death-obsessed age, a ghost ship appearing in the mist is by turns a provocative mystery, an inspiration to creativity, and a tragic story of the disappearance of a family and of a bond between husband and wife that, for one moment, transcends the impenetrable barrier of death.
Over the past 70 years, the American university has become the global gold standard of excellence in research and graduate education. The unprecedented surge of federal research support of the post-World War II American university paralleled the steady strengthening of the American academic profession itself, which managed to attract the best and brightest educators from around the world while expanding the influence of the "faculty factor" throughout the academic realm. But in the past two decades, escalating costs and intensifying demands for efficiency have resulted in a wholesale reshaping of the academic workforce, one marked by skyrocketing numbers of contingent faculty members.

Extending Jack H. Schuster and Martin J. Finkelstein’s richly detailed classic The American Faculty: The Restructuring of Academic Work and Careers, this important book documents the transformation of the American faculty—historically the leading global source of Nobel laureates and innovation—into a diversified and internally stratified professional workforce. Drawing on heretofore unpublished data, the book provides the most comprehensive contemporary depiction of the changing nature of academic work and what it means to be a college or university faculty member in the second decade of the twenty-first century. The rare higher education study to incorporate multinational perspectives by comparing the status and prospects of American faculty to teachers in the major developing economies of Europe and East Asia, The Faculty Factor also explores the redistribution of academic work and the ever-more diverse pathways for entering into, maneuvering through, and exiting from academic careers.

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A captivating, atmospheric return to historical fiction that is every bit as convincing and engrossing as Martin's landmark Mary Reilly.

In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found.

This maritime mystery lies at the center of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late-nineteenth-century literary society. While on a voyage to Africa, a rather hard-up and unproven young writer named Arthur Conan Doyle hears of the Mary Celeste and decides to write an outlandish short story about what took place. This story causes quite a sensation back in the United States, particularly between sought-after Philadelphia spiritualist medium Violet Petra and a rational-minded journalist named Phoebe Grant, who is seeking to expose Petra as a fraud. Then there is the family of the Mary Celeste's captain, a family linked to the sea for generations and marked repeatedly by tragedy. Each member of this ensemble cast holds a critical piece to the puzzle of the Mary Celeste.

These three elements—a ship found sailing without a crew, a famous writer on the verge of enormous success, and the rise of an unorthodox and heretical religious fervor—converge in unexpected ways, in diaries, in letters, in safe harbors and rough seas. In a haunted, death-obsessed age, a ghost ship appearing in the mist is by turns a provocative mystery, an inspiration to creativity, and a tragic story of the disappearance of a family and of a bond between husband and wife that, for one moment, transcends the impenetrable barrier of death.
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