Paris, 1862. A young girl in a threadbare dress and green boots, hungry for experience, meets the mysterious and wealthy artist Édouard Manet. The encounter will change her—and the art world—forever. Manet becomes himself because of Victorine. But who does she become, that figure on the divan?
Evangeline Starr Raybuck — plain-spoken, lusty, and hardworking — and June Keel are high school seniors, best friends going out with best friends, working together at Noecker’s chicken farm after school. Vangie and June make out with their boyfriends together in the same car; they pass dirty notes to each other during the day at school. They tell each other everything: “That was the kind of friends we were.”
Suzanne believes she knows who she is: a former wild child, neither virgin nor virginal as a teen; someone who pulls for the wayward girls and troubled boys she now teaches in Minnesota. She has learned to survive good love and bad love and people who don’t care at all. At her rented cabin, she gathers strength, like a storm forming over the lake.
Magdalena is a finely-drawn collection of prose poems which, with sometime painful honesty, examine the vagaries and vicissitudes of a heart in conflict with itself. Eros, the erotic world, is never far from the poet’s mnd: “each spring brought new hands touching my body.” The poems invoke the nature of an independent woman embracing her own sexuality, her travels, and being in the world.