"From an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, a novel of two love affairs set in Amherst and presided over by Emily Dickinson"-- Provided by publisher. "From an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and the author of Motherland, a novel about two love affairs set in Amherst--one in the present, one in the past, and both presided over by Emily Dickinson. Alice Dickinson is a young advertising executive who works in London and dreams of becoming a screenwriter. She decides to take some time off work to research her idea for a screenplay: the true story of a scandalous adulterous love affair that took place in Amherst, Massachusetts, in the 1880s. The lovers were a young faculty wife at Amherst College, Mabel Loomis Todd, and the college's treasurer, Austin Dickinson. Austin, twenty-four years Mabel's senior and married, was the brother of the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson and their trysts took place in Emily's house (with her consent). Alice travels to Amherst, staying in the house of a friend of a friend, Nick Crocker, a married English academic in his fifties. As Alice researches the affair between Austin and Mabel, and puzzles out Emily Dickinson's role, she embarks on an affair with Nick, an affair that, of course, they both know echoes the affair that she's writing about in her screenplay. Interspersed with Alice's own complicated love story is the story she is telling of Austin and Mabel, historically accurate, and meticulously recreated from their voluminous letters and diaries. Using the poems of Emily Dickinson throughout, Amherst is an exploration of the nature of passionate love, its delusions, and its glories. This novel is playful and scholarly, sexy and smart, and reminds us that the games we play when we fall in love have not changed that much over the years"-- Provided by publisher.