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Maisie at 8000 Feet is the story of an eight-year old girl who can fly and her idyllic summer in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey that ends in a moment of catastrophic loss. Following the death of her mother, Maisie travels the Pine Barrens with her artist/archeologist father; meets his cousin and confidante, Sally, who wants to repair the little girl’s heart; and flies over it all trying to see how her life could have taken such a turn.
Many years later, her son gone to college and her marriage ended, Maisie struggles to reconnect with the aging Sally. Doing so, she hopes to understand why her father didn’t raise her, what that long-ago summer was all about, and whether she has ever really been attached to anyone in any place.
Seen from both the heights of Maisie’s childlike imagination and the rootless perspective of the woman she becomes, the catastrophe in the Pine Barrens links with other fractures in her life to reveal the slippery connection between remembering and forgetting.
Maisie at 8000 Feet is the next novel in Frederick Reuss’s deeply personal investigation of cultural memory and the perpetual trick of knowing who we are. A standalone story, it is even richer when seen alongside Mohr (2006) and A Geography of Secrets (2010).
As The New York Times has asserted, Reuss writes “with brilliant understanding and a painter’s rich detail.”

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