Author: MacDonald Harris
Variant Title of: Herma (by Donald William Heiney ) [may list more publications, awards and reviews]
ISFDB Record Number: 1397469
Synopsis: Here is a delight: MacDonald Harris's colorful, fanciful, and moving Herma, the story of a willful young woman who conquers the musical world of the Belle Epoque.
Herma is many things: a glamorous story of a singer who rises from the choir of a country church to stardom at the Paris Opera: the parallel advantures of her agent and friendly enemy Fred Hite, filled with the excitment of the early days of aviation; and a provocative sexual intrigue whose twinned her and heroine, not brother and sister, are yet forbidden to each other by the secret that lies at the center of their odd and intimate relationship. From its evocative beginnings in the pastoral Southern California of the turn of the century, Herma moves on to larger worlds--first the brash, adolescent San Francisco of the period, then the international world of opera in Paris at the most luxurious, opulent, and decadent moment of its history. Erotic, bejeweled, crowded with incident and a big, vivid cast of characters, Herma is MacDonald Harris's richest and most complex novel and destined to be his most popular.
"What a delightful jaunt this is through the turn of the century, touching down on all its grand personages and preoccupations, from opera and pioneer aviation to Caruso and Marcel Proust, all in the company of the charming Herma, whose middle name should be Aphrodite." Oakley Hall
"A daredevil trompe-l'oeil coup-de-theatre. A fine example of fictive truth stronger than fact. The idea of coupling aviation with high-wire vocalism (correctly perceived and masterfully portrayed as cognate) invests this big book with metaphorical glamour. The performance is both assured and alluring." James McCourt.
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