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The Mineral Palace

About the Book

The Mineral Palace

In her debut novel, The Mineral Palace, Heidi Julavits creates a world of dust, decay, and decadence; a world in which all creatures struggle to survive. The story begins in the drought-ridden spring of 1934, and Bena Jonssen, her husband Ted, and their newborn baby relocate from their home in Minnesota to Pueblo, a Western plains town plagued by suffocating dust storms and equally suffocating social structures. Little can thrive in this bleak environment, including Bena and Ted's marriage, and the baby. To distract herself, Bena accepts a part-time position at the daily newspaper, reporting on the town's plans to restore the town's crumbling monument to the mining industry, The Mineral Palace, to its former grandeur. As Bena is drawn to The Mineral Palace and to more of the seamy side of Pueblo - the lurid hallways of a brothel, where she encounters a prostitute, Maude, and Red, a brooding cowboy, she begins to uncover the sordid secrets of the town, and the ravaging truths about her marriage and her child.

The Mineral Palace
by Heidi Julavits

  • Publication Date: August 28, 2000
  • Hardcover: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult
  • ISBN-10: 0399146229
  • ISBN-13: 9780399146220