Beacon Press: The Pure Lover
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The Pure Lover

A Memoir of Grief

Author: David Plante

A powerful and tragic memoir about the lifelong love between two men, from a well-loved and critically acclaimed author

The Pure Lover is David Plante’s elegy to his beloved Nikos Stangos, their forty-year life together, and its tragic end. Written in vivid fragments that, like the pieces of a mosaic, come together into a glimmering whole, it shows us both the wild nature of grief and the intimate conversation that is love.
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The Pure Lover leaves one exalted . . . A lovely book, joyful, plangent and true.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

The Pure Lover is a short but moving elegy. . . . It’s a difficult subject, handled with lyricism, pain, indiscretion and love.” —Margaret Drabble, New Statesman

“At the heart of David Plante’s wrenching text of loss is this bare utterance: ‘My love for you was not enough-you died.’ That is the outcry of every bereaved lover, whose work it is to speak in a long, one-sided conversation to one who can no longer answer. How a book can be at once so raw and so artful is a mystery; The Pure Lover joins a handful of necessary volumes that speak directly from grief’s wild, inconsolable center, and readers will find it bracing, unflinching, and honest to the core.” —Mark Doty, author of Heaven’s Coast

“A wrenching and boldly intimate lament.” —Philip Roth

“David Plante’s fine meditation on love and loss is the work of one who has been there and who knows that it is the dying who are losing all and that the grief we obtain is the survivor’s treasure.” —Edward Albee

“David Plante’s The Pure Lover is not a memoir so much as a series of memories excavated in grief, a re-collection of vivid fragments that together become the narrative of a long and passionate love between two people. Its tone moves from high Romantic lyricism to tough realism as it chases the past and tries to make sense of the agonies of mourning. This deeply tender, wrenching little book addresses an ultimate human question: how do we live with terrible loss?” —Siri Hustvedt, author of Sorrows of an American

“David Plante has written a delicate threnody, a reticent and tender rite of mourning for an ideal of lifelong love at the center of two men’s entwined lives.” —Marina Warner, author of Phantasmagoria

“[An] emotionally reverberating articulation of grief, love, and a loss so major that it threatened the need to move on. . . . In retelling Nikos’ life in chapters and fragments, Plante also paints a picture of grief that, though depressing, remains both engaging and informative throughout.” —Jeremy Michael Savlen, Boston Spirit

“A fierce encapsulation of grief, the fundamentally private wrought wrenchingly public. This sublime remembrance—more a compilation of memory fragments than a linear life story—evokes a whole man (in truth, two whole men).” —Richard Labonte, Book Marks: Best of 2009

“[A] simple, heartfelt memoir . . . Intimate.” —Publishers Weekly

A literary monument of weight, grace, and beauty.” —Booklist

“Innovative and incantatory . . . Bracingly poignant . . . A cumulative portrait, taken in snapshots, of a long-term gay relationship that’s as valid a marriage as any other.” —Jason Roush, The Gay and Lesbian Review


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The Pure Lover

ISBN: 978-080700620-7
Publication Date: 10/26/2010
Pages: 128
Size: x Inches (US)
Price:  $16.00
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.
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