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   Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold, The, by Kate Bernheimer  
 
  Novel, first publication in February 2002
 
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      The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold is a lavishly poetic novel that recounts through folklore and fairy stories the visionary obsessions of a passionate young woman. The narrative moves freely through time and space, uniting Ketzia Gold's early childhood with her sexual awakenings, creating a dreamscape of haunting vividness. Young Ketzia inhabits a storybook world of hallucinatory comedy and terror, surrounded by predatory adults, talking magnolias, and troll-like siblings. Her childhood romance with talented, brilliant Adam Brown flowers briefly into a marriage of tenderness and erotic fervor, but Ketzia cannot escape her own intelligence, and soon finds herself compelled toward intoxicating self-destruction. Bernheimer draws upon the motifs of traditional German, Russian and Yiddish folklore to shape Ketzia's bewildering adventures. This meeting of nursery rhyme and nightmare transforms everyday objects as childhood photos, wine bottles and metal trinkets take on a life of their own, eluding Ketzia's frightened grasp. Marked by a logical illogic and disarmingly sane madness, this haunting and innovative fable creates an emotional landscape that's as impossible to escape as it is for young Ketzia to inhabit. With an obsessive lyricism recalling the poetic fictions of Carol Maso, Kate Bernheimer interweaves hypnotic imagery and everyday life, moving back and forth through time, piecing together the fragments of memory and imagination. The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold embroiders a visionary realism in the manner of Doris Lessing and Clarice Lispector, making Bernheimer's story a rich tapestry, patterned after childhood longings and the luxuriant complexity of womanhood.

     
     
      Related theme(s)  
     
     
  • Mythology - Myths - Legends - Fairy Tales - Folklore
  • Urban Fantasy

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