1. Pretty Leslie

    A Novel

    R. V. Cassill

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    From one of midcentury America’s most ambitious and entertaining novelists, the dazzling and disturbing portrait of a housewife’s erotic adventures

    Beautiful, intelligent, and charming, Leslie Daniels is the wife of a successful Illinois physician. To her friends and family, she appears to be happily living the American dream. But there is another side to Leslie, one propelled by lust and unsettling impulses that run completely counter to her comfortable midwestern routine.

    So far, Leslie has managed to keep her unwholesome appetites in check, but when her husband travels out of town to attend a medical conference, she takes the opportunity to commit her first act of adultery. What ensues is a stunning plunge into the depths of desire and despair as Leslie realizes that, once freed from the boundaries of convention, her urges can never again be contained or satisfied.

    Hailed by the New York Times as a “novel of unusual power” about “a spiritual sister to Dostoevsky’s ‘underground man,’ ” Pretty Leslie is a testament to the astonishing powers of R. V. Cassill’s imagination. It is also, from first page to last, a thrilling, unrelenting, and absolutely unforgettable sexual drama.

  2. Pub Date
    Open Road Integrated Media

Editorial Reviews

  • “A jolting, disturbing book—its revelation of the darkness within will make some readers cringe—but it stamps Mr. Cassill as a writer of the first rank.” —The New York Times

  • “Here is the substance of great tragedy. . . . Pretty Leslie is one of the most outstanding novels of the year.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “A study in the tense relationship between sexuality and personality . . . honest in its conception and skillful in its execution.” —New York Herald Tribune

  • “Besides his skill with characters, Cassill is remarkably adroit at capturing moods—domestic, supernatural, and, of course, psychosexual. I know of only two writers who rival him in this respect. Their names are D. H. Lawrence and Norman Mailer.” —The New York Times Book Review

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About the author

R. V. Cassill

R. V. Cassill (1919­-2002) was a prolific and award-winning author and a highly regarded writing teacher. Among his best-known works are the novels Clem Anderson and Doctor Cobb's Game and the short stories "The Father" and "The Prize," the latter of which won him an O. Henry Award. At the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Purdue University, and Brown University, Cassill taught many acclaimed authors, including Joy Williams and Raymond Carver. He founded the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) in 1967 and after his retirement became the editor of The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, a position he held for nearly a quarter century. 


Photo Credit: Kay Cassill