Applause by Elizabeth Cain - Read Online
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After admiring UCLA’s popular English professor and poet, Dr. William Langley for eleven years, twenty-seven-year-old graduate student Sela Hart is finally accepted into one of his exclusive creative writing classes. She has had her own work published and studied in Africa, and he has had a stressful twenty-year marriage to a lesbian woman while struggling to balance his world with the demands of academia. But the forty-year-old Langley is intrigued by Sela’s strange stories, while she is drawn to his emotional reeling at the sudden death of his wife in a horrendous car accident.
The two become friends and then lovers, being touched along the way by Langley’s late wife’s gay friends, a Tanzanian man who cares for endangered animals, and Sela’s grandmother, who raises the only blue rose in the world. As Sela’s stories about an aging actor named William Hathaway and a girl named Angela Star—who may or may not be real—intensify, Langley begins to show signs of mental confusion and illness.
The fictional Chalice River from Sela’s Quantum Crossing collection becomes a real place for him—one that is lonely, dark, and frightening. When he is ultimately swept away in a déjà vu car accident just yards from where his wife died, his only hope is the power of Sela’s passionate tale and her invincible love.
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Applause - Elizabeth Cain

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