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Reviews for After by Claire Tristram


"Stimulating on more than one level, performing the difficult task of making an obsessive love meaningful to someone standing outside it...A dark comedy of sexual gamesmanship."-New York Times Book Review

"Erotic and daring...What emerges are questions of identity and what we think ourselves capable of. What we're left with is the notion that grief and hate can overtake us, no matter who we think we are."-USA Today

"A balanced, taut narrative...truly chilling suspense." -Entertainment Weekly

"Timely, dignified and imbued with a profound sense of the erotic."-San Diego Union Tribune

"[Tristram] has written a novel about two people trying to find themselves which is as uplifting as it is provocative, as humane as it is brutal." Lucy Beresford, Literary Review

"[Claire Tristram's] stirring debut captures what it's like to live right now...the narrative pulses with the anxiety of post-9/11 America, where every siren could signal catastrophe."-Richard Dorment, Interview magazine

"This book, raw like the characters' wounds, resonates long after the last sentence is read...[an] original, up-to-the-minute take on the psychological fallout of living in the era of terrorism."-Publishers' Weekly

"A compelling psychological portrait about grieving, race, and sex. . . Tristram is clearly an author to watch." -Library Journal

"The issues are universal--grief, terrorism, racism, revenge, desire, identity, forgiveness--and Tristram provocatively plays with them all in this highly charged story." Sunday Mail/Sunday Telegraph (Australia)

"After is a powerful time bomb ticking in your hands, a chronicle of grief, adultery and redemption that can rip through you with shattering impact...You'll have a hard time shaking the haunting effects of the book."-David Abrams, January magazine

"Tristram writes masterfully, and in the truest sense of the word, impressively." -Lustwandel (Germany)

"Claire Tristram poses questions about grief, Eros, revenge, religion, and love, and then answers them provocatively, truthfully, and thrillingly." lesen & leute (Germany)

"Submerged rage emerges in its bitterest colors...Tristram writes in spare, haunted prose that has echos of Duras."-San Francisco Chronicle

"A harrowing, enigmatic tale that practically begs for a repeat reading...I damned sure won't forget it."-SF Weekly

"Take one part Marguerite Duras, one part foreign film, throw in some 9-11 terrorist activity, add a liberal sprinkling of smut, cook it with striking, concise prose and exquisite detail, and bam! You have AFTER, the elegant, incendiary psychodrama debut from instigator Claire Tristram."-Flaunt magazine

"Somewhere, in another language, there exists a word to express the fog surrounding survivors. The word would have to convey the sense of damage and disbelief when, despite death, people continue to talk on the phone, eat, and drive their cars to work. Claire Tristram's new novel, After, inhabits the syllables of this word."-Village Voice Literary Supplement

"This perverse adult fable...succeeds in describing a moral universe in which the wounded seek healing through destruction. It is all too recognizable as the universe we live in today."-Time Out New York

Like Marguerite Duras's Hiroshima Mon Amour and Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris...[After] suggests that we are viscerally drawn to our antagonist...Perhaps we can view this attraction as nature, for once, overcoming the competitions and hatreds and fears foisted upon us by society, and bringing warring, pouting, fearing, or simply irreconcilably "diverse" persons together. Perhaps nature is more--rather than less--moral than culture in this instance." -The Nation

"Anyone looking to take a walk on the wild side will relish this fiercely erotic debut...Tristram does a fine job of keeping the reader on a knife edge."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"What makes this novel so stunning is not just the topicality of its subject or the fine, controlled eroticism of its writing. It's the author's intelligence in addressing what's so hard to address: political violence as the great destroyer of human individuality, sexual confrontation as its knife-blade edge; decency, desire, solidarity, and self-knowledge as the values at risk."-Pam Rosenthal, Booksense Picks, May 2004

"After is as disturbing, challenging and subversive a debut novel as I have read in many years. Here's a very cunning, fearless writer, full of promise and surprise." -Jim Crace


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