Small Acts of Sex and Electricity
Lise Haines (Author)
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September 05, 2005
6.35 X 8.27 X 0.67 inches | 0.66 pounds
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About the Author
Lise Haines is the author of several novels, including When We Disappear, Girl in the Arena, and In My Sister's Country. A Senior Writer in Residence at Emerson College, she is a past finalist for the PEN Nelson Algren Fiction Award and a former Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard University. She received her undergraduate degree from the Creative Writing program at Syracuse University and her MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars.
"Haines skillfully creates a tenuous idyll that's reminiscent of sections of Ann Patchett's "Bel Canto" or even Rebecca West's "The Return of the Soldier"- here we have the same blissful menage, based on impossible circumstances that carry the seeds of their own destruction."--The San Francisco Chronicle "The closed doors, crackling tension and heady atmospherics imbue 'Small Acts of Sex and Electricity' with a welcome subtlety that is often missing in novels about female friendships. And Haines, rather than succumb to the pitfalls of the token happy ending, has followed the wise advice of Chekov: 'When you want to touch a reader's heart, try to be colder. It gives their grief, as it were, a background against which it stands out in greater relief.'"--The San Diego Union-Tribune "A lyrical, earnest second novel...touching...[a] sexy summer read." --Publishers Weekly "Haines skillfully uses flashbacks and rapid-fire dialogue to make and keep things credible as Mattie takes over Jane's life in this oddly compelling tale of loss . . . and losing detachment."--Booklist "Whether Lise Haines's characters are doing needlepoint, or playing miniature golf, or exchanging lives, they are fiercely intelligent, provocatively funny, and profoundly aware of the complexities of love and friendship. As small acts of sex and electricity joyfully reminds us, here is an author who writes like no one else. Our world is the richer for her glittering work."
--Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy "[S]wells with the sounds of the Pacific Ocean and imagery so vivid and unique that the reader will be as entranced with the sights and sounds as with the introspective and complex issues of relationships the novel addresses. A normal day at the beach with "pelicans diving into the ocean" is in vivid contrast to "all the rooms of Jane's psychic house...though I thought I knew where the worms were buried...I ripped up her lawn and laid the pink bodies of childhood end to end." The controversial and moral issues are ripe for mature book club discussion and self-discovery."--The bookreporter.com "A strange, sexual and dark look at personal bonds and friendship....It's a destructively interesting plot, as motherhood, sexuality, aging and honor all come into play. Haines... stylistically separates herself from book-of-the-month clubs with her avoidance of quotation marks and her deliberate stutter-start prose, matter-of-fact in its form and ideas. "Small Acts of Sex and Electricity"...breezes by in moments and finds in its characters the unrecognizable places that do, in fact, exist."--NewCity Chicago "Lise Haines's wonderful new novel, small acts of sex and electricity, holds the reader enthralled from beginning to end as it explores the boundaries of sex, love and friendship. Very few writers could have pulled off the twists and turns within these relationships with such grace and strength."--Jill McCorkle, author of Ferris Beach "It's a situation fraught with all the best kinds of literary tension: sexual infidelity, children's resentment, and the inevitable showdown between pals-turned-competitors. The relationship between Mattie and Jane is complex and believable. ... Haines's cryptic style has its appeal, and she aims an observant eye at life's oddities."--Library Journal