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by Elisabeth Harvor

eBook Excessive Joy Injures the Heart download ISBN: 0771039638
Author: Elisabeth Harvor
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; 1St Edition edition (2000)
Language: English
Pages: 344
ePub: 1234 kb
Fb2: 1118 kb
Rating: 4.2
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Category: Other

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d to the deep sleep they could give her and she could all too easily picture herself - already tonight at two in the morning - going down the icy back stairs in her nightgown and snowboots to root around among slickly freezing orange peels and deeply cold coffee grounds

Elisabeth Harvor is the highly acclaimed author of the national bestselling novel Excessive Joy Injures the Heart, and three collections of short fiction, If Only We Could Drive Like This Forever, Our Lady of All the Distances, and most recently Let Me Be the One, which was a finalist for th. .

Elisabeth Harvor is the highly acclaimed author of the national bestselling novel Excessive Joy Injures the Heart, and three collections of short fiction, If Only We Could Drive Like This Forever, Our Lady of All the Distances, and most recently Let Me Be the One, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. She is also the author of two poetry books, Fortress of Chairs, which won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and The Long Cold Green Evenings of Spring. Harvor was the winner of the Alden Nowlan Award for the year 2000.

About Elisabeth Harvor. Elisabeth Harvor is the highly acclaimed author of the national bestselling novel Excessive Joy Injures the Heart, and three collections of short fiction, If Only We Could Drive Like This Forever, Our Lady of All the Distances, and most recentl. ore about Elisabeth Harvor.

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In Elisabeth Harvor's oddly captivating first novel, Excessive Joy Injures the Heart, Claire Vornoff, a 37-year-old .

In Elisabeth Harvor's oddly captivating first novel, Excessive Joy Injures the Heart, Claire Vornoff, a 37-year-old Ottawa woman, is having trouble sleeping. I have to warn some potential readers, though, that they might not like it. These might be the readers who are expecting something romantic. But then this is so often the case with brilliant novels, it's their fate to be misunderstood. There's no glib pap in this book, it's the real thing.

Start by marking Excessive Joy Injures The Heart as Want to Read . They say never judge a book by its cover, in this case I was guilty of judging a book by its title. And I was sorely disappointed

Start by marking Excessive Joy Injures The Heart as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Harvor's writing style varies from intense, moving, and mesmerizing to boring and unsatisfying (and everything in between), but the good parts are very, very good. This is her first full-length novel after a number of volumes of poetry and short stories. She's worth watching. And I was sorely disappointed. There was no excessive joy, and I was never convinced that her heart was actually injured. Claire claims to be very happy at points in the story, but I never bought it.

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Categories of Interest: Select All. Biography & Memoir.

Erica Elisabeth Arendt Harvor (née Deichmann) is a Canadian novelist and poet who lives in Ottawa, Ontario. She was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, she grew up in Saint John and on the Kingston Peninsula. Harvor enrolled at Concordia University in 1983, receiving an MA in Creative Writing in 1986. She has also won many awards for her fiction and poetry. Her short story collection Let Me Be the One was a finalist for the 1996 Governor General's Literary Award

Book by ELISABETH HARVOR
Comments: (5)
Qulcelat
Excessive Joy Injures the Heart is an incredible novel, it's so intelligent and funny and sad and deep. The two central characters, Claire and Declan, are also so cleverly polarized that they made me turn the pages quickly, wanting to know more. There are many terrific minor characters as well, among them Claire's sometime lover, Tony O'Bois. Who, when he asks Claire what "the fashionistas in the English department" are teaching their students these days, gets this response: "That identity is a bourgeois illusion, a construct created by material objects and ideology..." There's also such evocative and memorable descriptive writing, as the following quote should make clear: "A week later it turned hot, but there was still a leftover damp ache in the air from the morning's earlier rain as Claire sat with her friend Libi in Libi's kitchen. Libi yawned a fierce little yawn, a fist held up tight beside each of her breasts, then went over to the sink to fill up a kettle. The backs of her legs were pink with a sick flush of sunburn, and she was wearing one of her bright Mexican cotton skirts, this one a harsh red. It gave off the raw stinging new-crayon smell of cheap cotton." This is a novel that manages to be passionate and brilliant, but also engaging and ironic. And it is, consequently, worth every dollar and every minute you'll spend on it. Highly intelligent and highly recommended.
spark
I recently won a copy of _Excessive Joy Injures the Heart_ and ... what a pleasure! I completely lost myself in the world of Claire Vornoff. Harvor's novel is about a society obsessed with symptoms and obsessed with healing. It is about psychic suffering as well as physical suffering and about the quest for a cure for both. Alternative medicine is the novel's focus--a focus that is timely, original, and intriguing.
The main character's complaint is chronic insomnia, but as the narrative unfolds, it becomes apparent that her real affliction is a grieving heart, symptoms of which include feelings of disconnectedness from her body. Originally from the prairies, Claire experiences a similar sense of displacement from her environment (an experience I found all too real as someone who grew up in Moose Jaw, SK and spent the better part of my twenties in London, ON). Although Claire participates in the society of the "civilized heart of formal Ontario" (201), she is positioned, essentially, as an observer, and her narrative gaze remains detached, ironic-- a benefit to the narrative.
The premise of the plot dances dangerously close to cliche--a woman falls in love with her doctor. Or falls into something intense enough to take over her life and get her pretty bent out of shape. But Harvor is smart, and while she plays about the edges of this cliche, she never allows it to take over or foreclose rich possibilities of her narrative. Instead, the potentially corny scenario becomes, in Harvor's skilful hands, a strategic doorway to the complex emotioanl texture of her protagonist's journey through a year (or so) of "treatment" with Declan Farrell, a holistic specialist in "bioenergetic theory."
Farrell, a dark, brooding Byronic figure who wears corduroy, treats his patients in his country home (formerly an Anglican rectory) outside Ottawa. One of the delights in Harvor's novel is her satirical treatment of the faddism surrounding alternative medicine in all its flaky, New Age splendor. Our culture is a veritable shopping mall of therapy options, Harvor's novel suggests.
However, there is more to Harvor's narrative than its brilliant satire of New Age medicine; she has the ability to reveal her protagonist's ambivalent postion within a symptom-crazed culture. Claire is skeptical yet she tries it. Harvor's protagonist my be a patient but she is not a victim.
Even though the line between therapy and romance gets pretty blurry in terms of Claire's relationship with Dr. Farrell, what compels us to read on is not the pseudo-romance as much as it is Claire's story as a narrative of resistance. No matter how "touchy-feely" alternative medicine claims to be, Harvor's novel reminds us, New Age doctors like Declan Farrell and Alan Breit ("a spooky gym class for one student") are not carving out any new territory when it comes to using their "expertise" as a weapon of power against their female patients.
Claire is smart enough to realize that Declan is a colonizer, "colonizing her resentments" (67) and she begins to resist this, at least in her mind.
Harvor's masterful use of details underscores the sexulaized nature of the relationship between colonizer and colonized, as well as Claire's ambivalence with respect to her body, and her role as "patient."
This book is bound to engage, to entertain, and to raise issues that will have you re-examining your own life and relationships. I encourage all to add it to the top of their reading lists!
Vizil
I love Excessive Joy Injures the Heart. Claire Vornoff, the main character, in a slow and soft manner gets under my skin and stays there for the duration. As she moves from her day to day encounters with the city and other characters, her actions and responses speak to me of my own insecurities and sometimes found courage in an unpredictable landscape of love, friendship and family.
There is Declan Farrell, her therapist, and the man she should not but inevitable does fall in love with. It is unsettling to observe him as he wanders dangerously from his role of trusting Doctor. And Libbi, the faithful, conservative friend who has a sharp eye for how things really are, Steadfast old Doctor Tenniswood, her longtime employer with the spoiled daughter and stuck-up wife. My favorite is Tony O'Bois, not Tonio Bois, the History Professor, who she keeps meeting in public places or parties that they both attend alone. It is difficult to forget these and other characters who interact with Claire's quirky life - especially her Toronto land lady, Dot.
Harvor's writing style is gently hypnotic. As I turn pages I am absorbed in a rich, tangible world of imagery. And although Claire often lives in a dreamy space, the narrative keenly plots and surprises. We are allowed into a woman's life as she carves out a place for herself in her own unique fashion. Excessive Joy Injures the Heart speaks to us of our loneliness and foibles and our sense of ourselves. This is one of those books that at the end, you're very appreciative of the experience. And many scenes will stay with you for a long time.
I highly recommend it!
Unsoo
Elisabeth Harvor has the gift of creating wonderful, flawed, human, captivating characters who come so alive on the page. She gets to the heart of the experiences of women and men in love, wanting love, fearing love, in families, in fear - of loneliness, of illness, of failure....
Claire Vornoff takes risks that both alarm and delight. Declan Farrell is the man your mother would warn you against. Isn't that reason enough to want him?!
I loved being dismayed by Claire. I can't believe you're going back there, I would think, at the same time as thinking You must go back, what you find there is not something you can turn away from.
Elisabeth Harvor's poetic use of language is one of the great joys of this book. I found myself re-reading paragraphs I'd just read for the sheer pleasure of the language.
I highly recommend "Excessive Joy Injures the Heart" to anyone who seeks finely observed characters in a compelling story told in richly expressive language.