Chasm is the only novel by famed surrealist artist Dorothea Tanning and was published when she was 94 years old.
In the stark beauty of the desert, a mansion built by a madman rears its audacious architecture. The estate is called Windcote, 'its very name a masquerade', and its odious master, Raoul Meridian, has invited a group of guests to spend the weekend. During the course of their visit they find themselves driven by obsessions and confusions unlike any they’ve experienced before. Immune to the fevers and failures around her is the intrepid child Destina, who will lead them into the heart of a mysterious canyon, where desire and cruelty forge an implacable truth.
Dorothea Tanning (1910 – 2012) was an American artist, writer and poet. Aside from three weeks of tuition at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art in 1930, she was entirely self-taught. Although often described as a Surrealist artist, after the 1940s Tanning moved away from surrealist themes and evolved her own personal style. She lived with her fellow artist and husband, Max Ernst, in France from 1949 until Ernst’s death in 1976. In 1980, she moved to New York, and after a decade of studio art there, turned to writing and poetry in the 1990s, which she continued until her death at the age of 101.