Literary-Fiction: The Wanderess

by Roman Payne

Literary-Fiction: The Wanderess

A gothic mystery novel and story of passion and romance set against the backdrop of a timeless Mediterranean landscape, The Wanderess tells of the notorious adventurer Saul and his passion for the beautiful Saskia, a mysterious young orphan girl whom he meets and vows to protect as his child.

When Saul's pursuit of pleasure and fortune gets tangled with the quest of this "Wanderess" for her long-lost friend and her own fortune, the two find themselves on a picaresque path that leads them through Spain, France, Italy and beyond; their adventures weaving them deeper and deeper into a web of jealous passion, intrigue, betrayal, and finally, murder.

The Wanderess is a love story, a novel of heroism, friendship and romance, portraying the lives of two unsettled vagabonds led by their own strange desires, mutual obsessions, and one single fortune.

The Wanderess is the fifth novel by Roman Payne, an author who pushes the boundaries of poetic language, imagination, sexual charge, and psychological mystery-his prose bearing always a timeless quality that transports the reader to far-away lands and times.

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The Wanderess Is Available On Kindle, In Paperback And Free With Kindle Unlimited.


ISBN-13: 978-0985228132

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In The Wandress, Roman Payne has built a rare hybrid—an homage to 19th century literature with some sly 21st humor sewn in. At first The Wandress torques through a Balzackian landscape with the trope top down, cruising through a solid linguistic road map of some past polysyllabic century: “The black forms of the peasants who worked collecting chestnuts and olives in the fields dotted the landscape.

And with their bulky capes, and their large harvest sacks, they resembled those great European bison that graze in the Caucasus.” Which is great if you like your tomes denser than La Brea tar pit goo—which I don’t. But not to worry—The Wandress soon bucks this mere glancing homage, and drives down into its own luscious humor: “What happened in Tripoli?

Why is Saul’s head still attached to his body?” Few 19th Century books—whether from the School of Zola or the Dickensian Workhouse—asked questions like that. As The Wandress plot wanders, this subtle authorial humor keeps popping its Pierrot clown head up: “My neighbor drooled a little, then lathered the drool on his chin with his fingertips….” The Pulpawrecho segment alone—where Payne outdoes even Poe’s Trimalchio—takes us into pure serf slapstick territory.

Even given its sly humor, I think the swifter achievement of The Wandress is making the reader assume that the male narrator will merely stumble with misogynistic flat feet as he drags the eponymous heroine along. But as the plot develops, this Wandress shows her own mysterious strength” “First of all, Saul,” she went on, “this hunting expedition was mine, the net of concern was my net….” Still, this simulacrum Lolita is not the real Wandress in this book after all. The true Wanderess is the carefully crafted plot that on its surface, seems to simply flit around for sensation, but all the while—like some ink stained Joan of Arc—is gathering its own armored strength.

Author Bio

Roman Payne, expatriate novelist living in Paris, was born January 31st 1977 in Seattle. He left America in 1999 and spent years traveling in Europe and North Africa before finally settling in France. His itinerant lifestyle is reflected in his work which often focuses on the lives of travelers, wanderers, and dreamers, ever searching for meaning, and what he calls 'the poetic life.'

Another trait of Payne's writing comes from the fact that, for years, he has lived his day to day life speaking only French, reading almost exclusively in French. His habit of forming French (Latinate) constructions has lent a unique style to his prose. While at times this Gallicization may strike the reader as peculiar, it overall adds a magic to his prose that enhances his exotic settings and characters.

Payne is the author of six books. His latest novel, 'The Wanderess,' is published by Aesthete Press. He has four other novels published by ModeRoom Press: 'Crepuscule,' 'Cities and Countries,' 'Hope and Despair,' and 'Rooftop Soliloquy'; as well as numerous short stories, and a book containing a bilingual (French/English) prose-poem called, 'The Basement Trains.'

The greatest novel by Roman Payne:

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Apr 02, 2015
by: Psymon H

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