Lilith is a powerfully drawn portrait of innocence corrupted by evil, an evil so brilliant, so beautiful, so imaginatively conceived that even its violence and amorality have a fantastic splendor of their own. This is the evil of Lilith, a wildly deranged young woman who creates for herself a strange paradise of fantasy, poetry, and passion which she inhabits in preference to the real world. Her world has its own language, its own philosophy, its own music and art, all exquisitely constructed and richly sensual in their design. And it has its own religion, a religion which demands an insidious and dreadful form of human sacrifice.
Firstly published in 1961, Lilith instantly became a classic of American Literature, with over one million copies in print and a 1964 film adaptation of the same name starring Warren Beatty and Jean Seberg.
Lilith was inspired by Salamanca’s experience at Chestnut Lodge, a well known mental institution in Rockville, Maryland, where he worked right after WWII.
The book’s original cover art was a painting made by J.R. Salamanca’s mother, Lucy.
Written in a polished prose of luminous beauty… Lilith soars above the world of mundane reality and lures its readers into a world of sinister fantasy and haunting unreality. To read this book is to wander down the labyrinthine ways of the insane and to become lost in the dark corridors of madness.
Superb. As emotionally exhausting as it if were lived instead of written.
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