It’s 1977. A 22-year-old finds herself ensconced in a place of dust and history: the archives room of a second-rate college. She’s re-shelving Victorian etiquette books when the door opens and in walks a fabulous, seductive, larger-than-life writer of historical romances—and the young woman’s life will never be the same. Set against 25 years of cultural evolution, the love between the two women—the younger librarian and the grande dame of cheesy literature—outlasts a 28-year age difference, romantic dalliances, illness, and the confines of the closet. Along the way, the librarian ponders the nature of life, death, religion, and philosophy with the help of the imaginary counterparts of Socrates, Hildegard of Bingen, and Suzanne Pleshette; samples casseroles with names like Vegetables Psychosis and The Tubers Karamazov; and forges a family with her best friend, Jeff, and assorted quirky characters who wander into their lives.
author of Girls in Peril and Mother Tongue (and who adores Jane’s book)
Jane Eklund’s The Story So Far is a pantomath’s joy ride. Imagine Marilyn Robinson skidded to the curb, picked up Edmund White, and let Tim O’Brien jump in the back seat to take a trek through the last five decades. Eklund mixes stunningly beautiful prose, wit, and lively sensuality to create a story that pulls you in to the lives of her divinely complex characters. This breakthrough novel is one to savor and one to read again and again.
author of Ivan and Misha
Poet Jane Eklund’s debut novel is a delight. Sentence by sentence, it’s a wry, witty, metaphor-crazy tale as befits the story of an intergenerational love affair between a young librarian and the love of her life, a classy, closeted best-selling author of pulpy historical fiction. Eklund and her characters are equally besotted with language, which makes for enticing flirtation and seduction scenes. The Story So Far is a novel graced with warmth and charm, deserving of a wide audience.
Jane Eklund is a writer and editor who lives in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. She has published poems in journals including The Georgia Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Sun, and Poetry Northwest, and fiction in the Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly. She has received grants for poetry from the Iowa Arts Council and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and for fiction from the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and has been a fellow at the Blue Mountain Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Jane holds degrees from Colby College and the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop.