Home Movies by Paula Martinac

cover of the book Home MoviesHome Movies by Paula Martinac
Genre: Fiction
Copyright Year: 1993
Published: 1993
Publisher: Seal Press
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Format: Trade Paperback
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No. of Pages: 222
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ISBN: 187806732X
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Teresa, a lesbian writer in New York, has to come to terms with the death of her beloved uncle who has died of AIDS. ——- From Publishers Weekly Martinac’s second novel is life affirming in the best sense of that overused phrase. Focusing through the lens of a young woman’s memory on a Catholic family tormented by loss and the denial of emotion, the novel chronicles how death affects Teresa Keenan, a lesbian novelist. Her favorite uncle, Jamie, is a gay political activist whose death from AIDS forces her to confront a tanglet of memories, both good and bad, many of them revolving around her sister Alison, who died of leukemia at 11, and around her parents’ apparent inability to deal with that loss. But if her parents refuse to acknowledge their bereavement, Teresa’s reaction is no less pained and inadequate: unable to sustain a relationship with any of her lovers, she is left to grapple with her problems in solitude, but for Jamie and his lover, Tom. Martinac ( Out of Time ) is a keenly observant writer, attuned to her characters’ internal states. The book’s complex structure of flashbacks is deftly handled and the reader is drawn into the lives of these people with much compassion. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Kirkus Reviews A fictional Manhattan lesbian author moves beyond personal insecurity and grief to reach out for happiness, in an interesting but uneven second novel by Martinac (Out of Time, 1990), winner of the 1990 Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction. Teresa Keenan is 35 and has published two moderately successful novels about lesbian life when her beloved mentor and uncle, Jamie Keenan, a gay activist, begins slowly to die of AIDS. Personable Jamie has acted as shy, awkward Teresa’s cheerleader, guide, and coach since she was ten and living with her pinched, silent parents in Pittsburgh–that’s when Teresa’s 12-year-old sister Alison sickened and died of leukemia. Now Jamie’s lingering illness brings back memories of that time and makes Teresa acutely aware of her loneliness and feelings of incompletion, which deepen as Jamie’s condition gets worse. With the help of Jamie’s surviving lover Tom, however, and of Teresa’s father (Jamie’s brother)–who turns out to possess a surprising compassionate streak–as well as of some Greenwich Village friends, Teresa finds herself able for the first time to write about her losses and to become open to falling in love–with a woman by the optimistic name of Day. Teresa’s inadequacy–her uncertainty in normal social situations, her tentativeness and envy of others–can be trying. Still, a mildly engaging and affecting story of gay life. — Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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