Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
After Eden is a provocative novel that examines the meaning of home and homelessness among people who see such issues as more than abstractions. In a story populated by Pomo Indians, Euro-American ranchers and vintners, and Mexican American migrant laborers, Valerie Miner deftly juxtaposes differing cultural views of wilderness, trespassing, and home. Her dramatic novel is contemporary, while reflecting on two centuries of change in a seemingly Edenic place.
Looking forward to relief from her job as a city planner in Chicago, Emily Adams begins a much-needed vacation at her Northern California cabin. But the sudden death of her life partner forces her to re-examine personal commitments. Caught up in reflection, she comes to understand the intricacies of life in her pastoral retreat—complexities that she had never before considered.
In the modern-day Eden of California’s coastal range, Emily finds conflict all around her: between loggers and environmentalists, farmworkers and immigration authorities, newcomers establishing a lesbian community and long-time residents clinging to traditional ways.
As Emily learns to overcome grief, her story moves from loss to renewal for both the individual and the community. A decidedly feminist view of the New West, After Eden weaves lyrical prose with a different look at “family values” and what it really means to be human.