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A Novel by Valerie Miner
By Professor Valerie Miner
Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Year Published: April 30, 2007
After Eden is an elegant, provocative novel, whose dramatic plot examines issues of home and homelessness in a rural California valley. After Eden tackles a range of contemporary dramas such the devastating fires that threaten the West every year and fraught definitions of community.
Throughout the novel, Miner juxtaposes varying cultural definitions of wilderness and trespassing and home. Characters include Pomo Indians; Euro-American ranchers and vintners; Mexican American migrant laborers.
The story follows Emily from her arrival in the Valley where she plans to relax in her cabin, far away from her “real” life as a city planner in Chicago. The sudden death of her partner causes Emily to examine personal commitments to work, family and home. During this disturbing and restorative period of personal reflection, she also comes to understand in a deeper way the inter-cultural complexities of life in the Valley.
After Eden traces Emily’s story as it moves from loss to renewal for both the individual and the community. A decidedly feminist view of the New West, After Eden weaves lyrical prose with a different look at “family values” and what it really means to be human.
Professor Valerie Miner is the award-winning author of thirteen books. She currently teaches at Stanford University and travels internationally, giving readings, lectures and workshops.
For more information please visit www.valerieminer.com
“Densely layered yet transparent, tragic yet shimmering with hope, After Eden is the story of a very special community of women in Northern California, as well as the account of one woman's grief over the unexpected loss of her beloved. Ultimately, it is an affirmation of community values and their triumph over adversity. After Eden offers a compelling narrative enriched by lyrical passages of stunning beauty. I found myself marveling at Miner's writerly gifts and the spiritual strength that underlies the novel. I have no doubt about it: After Eden is a necessary novel for the 21st Century.” — Pablo Medina
"Valerie Miner is an author of reach, audacity, range, uniquely important to understanding our time." — Tillie Olsen
“I have come to depend on Valerie Miner as an uncommonly honest novelist: humorous, acute, and kind." — Ursula LeGuin
Journal Publications by Valerie Miner
"The Best Sex Ever," (short story), Quarterly West, Fall, 2005
“Back Home At The Driftwood Lodge,” (story), Southwest Review, Summer, 2004
Sections from The Low Road, Span, India, March/April, 2004
“Three Women By The River, At One Time Or Another,” (story), Ms., Fall, 2003
“Percussion,” (short story) Prairie Schooner, Fall, 2003
“Cocktails,” (story) BROADCAST on Radio 4, BBC, 7 August, 2003
“Il Cortigiano of Thomas Avenue,” (story) The Georgia Review, Summer, 2003
“Flat World,” (short story) in Gargoyle, Spring, 2003
“Always Avoid Accidents,” (short story) Ascent, Winter, 2003
“Veranda,” (short story) Southwest Review, Winter, 2002-03
“Until Spring,” (short story) Witness, Fall, 2002
"Greyhound, 1970," (short story) Puerto del Sol, Summer, 2002
"Tomorrow," (cross-genre narrative),Witness, Spring, 2002
"Vital Signs," (short story) in New Letters, Spring, 2001
"In Summer Light," (short story) in Quarterly West, Spring, 2001
"A Hidden Life (cross-genre narrative), The Michigan Quarterly Review, Spring, 2000.
"On The Way," and "Manifest," (cross-genre narrative), in Thirteenth Moon, Fall, 2000.
"Impermanence," (short story) part of "Hair Stories," an exhibition at the MAEP Gallery of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. July-September, 2000
"Impermanence," (short story) broadcast on BBC, London, 23 April, 2000.
"All the Way," (short story) Salmagundi, Winter,2000