A line from Edgar Allan Poe's poem "To a Lost Love " provides the title for Elisabeth Stevens' elegiac provocative and sexy new novel of the 1950's. A Green Isle in the Sea Love returns to that calm politically and sexually conservative era of Post World War II optimism before the angry years of racial violence and feminist protest that followed. Stevens whose sensual and plain-spoken collection of love poems Sirens' Songs was named one of the 100 best indie books of 2011 by Kirkus depicts Amy a naive 22-year-old heroine who comes to New York City from a small upstate town to prove that she can be a great painter.
Amy paints but she also falls in love with Charlie a conventional businessman who believes in "progress." Soon she sees that the successful artists in the city are men and that unmarried women such Charlie's long-widowed mother who runs the family insurance agency or her recently-widowed mother who wants Amy to come home have unfulfilled lives. Even Duncan Charlie's brilliant free-living half-brother a world traveler risks disappointment when he falls in love with Blanche "the most beautiful girl in New York."
In a troubling world which in some ways resembles that of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar Amy resists mounting depression and confusion&ndash&ndashand Charlie's pressure to "do the right thing" and get married. She instead keeps working on a strange unstylish painting of a chimera which she can't seem to finish.
Author-artist Elisabeth Stevens was born in Rome NY lived in NYC and the metropolitan area and spent several decades in Baltimore. She now lives and works in Sarasota FL. She is the author of 6 books of poetry six books of short fiction and many monographs articles and reviews about art artists and writers. A former art and architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun and a former art critic for The Washington Post The Wall Street Journal and The Trenton Times. Stevens is a graduate of Wellesley College. She received a Masters Degree in Modern Literature from Columbia University. A "word-picture person " Stevens has designed and illustrated many of her books with original graphics.
Stevens' fifth collection SIRENS' SONGS was selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the hundred best indie books of 2011.