Dale Kushner's novel The Conditions of Love traces the journey of a girl from childhood to adulthood as she reckons with her parents' abandonment, her need to break from society's limitations, and her overwhelming desire for spiritual and erotic love. At an early age Eunice encounters the difficult truths of loss and disappointment, and through an innate sense of her own worth, she perseveres. While working in a small-town grocery store, Eunice meets Fox, a sheep farmer and artist twice her age. She enters into not only an erotic relationship with him but a soulful love that eventually has to withstand the trials of a brutal accident. Within her unconventional life with Fox, Eunice finds herself as an artist and as a young woman undaunted in bringing her art to the larger world.
This engaging examination of a mother and daughter's relationship will appeal to the same audience that embraced Mona Simpson's acclaimed classic Anywhere But Here and Elizabeth Strout's bestselling Amy and Isabelle.
Dale M. Kushner graduated from the Vermont College MFA Program in Creative Writing, and founded The Writer's Place, a literary centre in Madison, Wisconsin. Ms. Kushner is a recipient of a Wisconsin Arts Board Grant in the Literary Arts, a fellowship at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. As well, she was a participant with other leading writers in the recent Fetzer Institute's first writers' retreat on compassion and forgiveness. Her work has been widely published in literary journals including IMAGE, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Salmagundi, Witness, Fifth Wednesday and elsewhere. Her most recent poetry book More Alive Than Lions Roaring was a finalist for The May Swenson Poetry Award at Utah State Press, The Prairie Schooner Book Competition, the Agha Shahid Ali Prize at University of Utah Press and The Tupelo Prize. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her family and dog, Carmelita. This is her first novel.