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Gone, Gone, 1573661082, 1-57366-108-2, 978-1-57366-108-9, 9781573661089,

by Elisabeth Sheffield

Quality Paper
2003. 258 pp.
Price:  $18.95 t

Gone alternates between the first person voice of Stella Vanderzee, a California freeway flyer with an unfinished dissertation on Sylvia Plath, and letters written by Judith (Juju) Vanderzee, Stella's aunt and the one-time lover of Stella's mother. Stella is searching for a Winslow Homer painting supposedly left to her by her rich paternal grandfather. Unaware that the painting is gone before her search begins, she sees it as compensation for the loss not only of her idyllic childhood in small town America, but also of her mother, a one-eyed multi-media artist, who she believes committed suicide. Stella, accompanied by Skip, her opium addicted lover and former student, resolutely seeks what she believes is hers. Her assumptions-about her grandfather's mistreatment of her mother, about her mother's failure as an artist, about sexuality and desire-are juxtaposed with the history recounted in her aunt's unsent letters. Gone plays a hide and seek game between desire and loss, giving form to what has been lost even as it undoes what it retrieves.

Elisabeth Sheffield grew up in the Leatherstocking Region of upstate New York. Since then, she has lived on both coasts of the United States as well as in between, and also in Northern Cyprus and Germany, where she was a Fulbright Lecturer in 1999/2000. Her short fiction has most recently appeared in Pretext, Gargoyle, The Denver Quarterly and 13th Moon, as well as Chick-Lit 2 (FC2, 1996). She has also written Joyce's Abandoned Female Costumes, Gratefully Received (Fairleigh Dickinson, 1998). Currently, she lives and teaches in Boulder, Colorado.

"Sheffield shows us that women...are more...mysterious, more inspiring and [more] significant, when...victims...of their own human fragility." --Cris Mazza, author of Girl Beside Him

"Gone is a wickedly funny, beautifully intricate, and unexpectedly moving journey into the unknowns of any and every life." --Greg Bills, author of Fearful Symmetry

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