Jumping the Green
Winner of the James Jones Literary Society Award for Best First Novel
Louise Goldblum is the new “it” girl on the San Francisco art scene, a sculptor on the cusp of national stardom, when her beloved older sister Esther is shot and killed in a motel room in an old California ghost town. Esther’s sudden, mysterious death sends Louise into a tailspin of mourning and, after a night of hard drinking, into the arms of Zeke Heirholm, a controversial photographer. Volatile and furtive, Zeke draws Louise into a gripping and perilous sexual liaison — and a precarious new terrain of caustic pleasure.
At first, Zeke’s hypnotic charms seem to offer Louise escape from the haunting events of her life — including her tumultuous childhood as the youngest member of the eccentric Goldblum family. But as Louise’s trysts with Zeke become increasingly violent, so, too, does the power of her memories. The further Louise becomes entangled in Zeke’s web, the deeper her mind retreats into the buried layers of her past, revisiting the turbulent and often self-destructive episodes that typified the Goldblum clan. Desperate to escape her chaotic past and tortured present, Louise risks everything — her career as an artist, her relationship with her family — in hopes of carving a path through the debris of her sister’s death and her own shattered life.
“An extraordinarily impressive newcomer surveys the emotional riptide of obsession and its release in art…an intriguingly subtle treatise on sex and death and the shadow companion of love. First timer Schwartz is a talent to watch.”
“In a final violent act…we are reminded of the destructive forces of love, familial and romantic that drive even the sanest to the edge of madness. It is a testament to Schwartz’s gifts as a writer that the novel transcends clichés of violence and ultimately becomes a tale of survival, even in the most harrowing of circumstances.”
“[Schwartz] gets the overheated atmosphere of the fringe art world just right in this erotic story of a grieving woman steering a dangerous course between sex and love, pain and pleasure, victimhood and survival.”
“Leslie Schwartz’s novel, Jumping the Green is a provocative debut…told with a heat-hazed elegance and subtle control.”
“This harshly beautiful novel of sister-love and sick sex is a must-read.”
“A superbly written debut.”