The Bride of Catastrophe

A Novel

Heidi Jon Schmidt

Picador

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The much anticipated and darkly comic first novel from a prize-winning storyteller

"I grew up on a farm." The year is l974, the place Sweetwater College, and Beatrice Wolfe is telling the story of her life to the glamorous young professor Philippa Sayres. So begins the achingly funny, often heartbreaking story of Beatrice’s double quest to find out who she might be, and to escape the gothic eccentricity of her family.

Married in a misbegotten passion, her parents are totally unsuited to any kind of business. The four Wolfe children’s lives are ruled by their mother whose larger-than-life demands and fears encircle them in a darkly comic web of contradictions. When their father's ping pong business collapses and he loses their "farm," Bea's family spirals out of control.
Bea, under Philippa's romantic spell, joins a lesbian community and is so committed to her new gay identity that she barely notices she’s falling in love with a man--a man just risen from the ashes of addiction, whose re-creation of himself she threatens to undo.

In The Bride of Catastrophe, Heidi Jon Schmidt explores the magnetic effect of love in all its variations--its power to form and sometimes deform us, to make us who we are.

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About the Author

Heidi Jon Schmidt

Heidi Jon Schmidt is the author of the acclaimed story collections Darling? and The Rose Thieves. Her stories have been widely published and anthologized, most recently in The O. Henry Awards: Prize Stories 2002. She lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she teaches at the Fine Arts Work Center.

Heidi Jon Schmidt

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Bride of Catastrophe
A Novel
Heidi Jon Schmidt

Hardcover

Hardcover
Picador
October 2003
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312281779
ISBN10: 0312281773
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 400 pages
$24.00

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
July 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312423421
ISBN10: 031242342X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 432 pages
$20.00
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