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Paul Dukach is heir apparent at Purcell & Stern, one of the last independent publishing houses in New York, whose shabby offices on Union Square belie the treasures on its list. Working with his boss, the flamboyant Homer Stern, Paul learns the ins and outs of the book trade - how to work an agent over lunch; how to swim with the literary sharks at the Frankfurt Book Fair; and, most important, how to nurse the fragile egos of the dazzling, volatile authors he adores.
But Paul's deepest admiration has always been reserved for one writer: poet Ida Perkins, whose audacious verse and notorious private life have shaped America's contemporary literary landscape and whose longtime publisher - also her cousin and erstwhile lover - happens to be Homer's biggest rival. And when Paul at last has the chance to meet Ida at her Venetian palazzo, she entrusts him with her greatest secret - one that will change all of their lives forever.
Studded with juicy details only a quintessential insider could know, written with both satiric verve and openhearted nostalgia, Muse is a brilliant, haunting audiobook about the beguiling interplay between life and art and the eternal romance of literature.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Molly Peacock on 07-24-15
Wit, poetry, profundity--and delicious nostalgia
What made the experience of listening to Muse the most enjoyable?
Every poet (or every person with a poet's soul) who has even a hint of nostalgia for a poetry world that is almost gone by should read Jonathan Galassi's MUSE, a roman a clef novel about a young man in the publishing world and a poet of such fantastic renown she'd be Edna St. Vincent Millay (who read to audiences of thousands) AND Elizabeth Bishop, but with a reputation ratcheted up to, say, Meryl Streep. But much more warmly interesting is the young editor and narrator of the novel as he portrays (and, with finesse, betrays) the life inside two publishing houses. Galassi is so witty that his moments of profundity are surprises, delicious ones. I listened to MUSE on Audible.com and the narrator, Arthur Morey, was pitch perfect.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Paul, the young editor, who learns by ambition.
Which scene was your favorite?
All the scenes at the struggling publishing houses.
If you could rename Muse, what would you call it?
It's THE perfect title.