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Catalog Archive / Spring 2022

Mourning Light

“A love story that borders on obsession, an engaging mystery, a meditation on how our relationships evolve even after death, and, finally, a reimagining of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. I found myself entertained, moved, and greatly admiring of Goodkin’s ability to write a novel of such elegance, complexity, and wit.”
—Ken Harvey, author of The Book of Casey Adair

The 11:11 face

Set in Madison, Wisconsin, and New Haven, Connecticut, in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, Mourning Light is a semi-autobiographical love story. Our narrator, Reb (so named by his mother because of her love of the Daphne du Maurier novel Rebecca), is hounded by guilt over the death of his lover, Anthony, which took place on the same day Reb first met the handsome yet enigmatic Eric. Once Reb becomes convinced that Anthony has sent him a cryptic message from beyond the grave, he becomes obsessed with figuring out what it could mean.

Told in a series of flashbacks and remembrances, the novel concludes with a whirlwind of revelations that both complicate and resolve Reb’s view of his world and his lover.


Author. Photo credit, Name. Richard Goodkin is a professor of French at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He has published five monographs on seventeenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century French literature and a historical novel, written in French, about Molière’s mistress and collaborator, Madeleine Béjart.




“A warm, romantic, intelligently written novel. The love story within a love story, set in the era of the AIDS epidemic, is clever, layered, and entertaining even as it deals with loss. It is delightful to read the story of Reb and Anthony falling in love, and moving too because we know where it all ends. We need more stories to document that particularly important and heartbreaking time.”
—Lori Soderlind, author of The Change: My Great American, Postindustrial, Midlife Crisis Tour

“Compelling and moving. The novel deals with life after death and the belief of what we know and don’t. It is a story that comes from the heart, one of grief, heartbreak, and a new beginning. . . . The novel is part love story, part autobiographical, and entirely interesting. It seamlessly cuts through the scenes, moving between the internal monologues and dialogues well without coming across as messy, and does a good job at showing the intricacies of queer love in the 80s and the grief that follows death. It is an important story, one that is told with sharp wit and elegance all the same.”
The Masters Review

“Goodkin charms us with unique and vivid characters. . . . Written in the first person, Mourning Light offers an intimate narrative that connects the reader with a credible and delicately flawed protagonist. You root for him to succeed, to survive, and to untangle the strange set of coincidences that have befallen him.”
The Gay & Lesbian Review




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Of Related Interest

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Minus One: Cover showing a pink balloon floating on a lake. The sky is cloudy and pink. The title text is set on top of and below the sky line.

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Mourning Light: cover depicting a slight wake in deep water, the ripples resembling the structured muscles of a human back. The title and author text is written in think white text, flowing as if the words are waves themselves.

Larger images

July 2022
LC: 2021047929 PS
192 pp. 5.5 x 8.5

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Paper $17.95
ISBN 9780299338640
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