The Surrealist painter Dorothea Tanning wrote her first novel Chasm when she was 94. A novel of incantatory power. As perceptively inventive as Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and as disquieting as Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, Chasm is a novel that will linger in the memories of readers long after they turn its last page.
"In the stark beauty of the desert, a mansion built by a madman rears its impudent architecture like an insult.
The estate is called Windcote, 'its very name a masquerade', and its master, the odious Raoul Meridian, has invited a group of guests to spend a weekend, during the course of which they will find themselves driven by obsessions and confusions unlike any they've experienced before. Untouched by the fevers and failures around her is the indomitable child Destina, who will lead them into the heart of a mysterious canyon, where desire and cruelty forge an implacable truth."