Gone alternates between the first person voice of Stella Vanderzee, a California freeway flyer with an unfinished dissertation on Sylvia Plath, and letters written by Judith (Juju) Vanderzee, Stella's aunt and the one-time lover of Stella's mother. Stella is searching for a Winslow Homer painting supposedly left to her by her rich paternal grandfather. Unaware that the painting is gone before her search begins, she sees it as compensation for the loss not only of her idyllic childhood in small town America, but also of her mother, a one-eyed multi-media artist, who she believes committed suicide. Stella, accompanied by Skip, her opium addicted lover and former student, resolutely seeks what she believes is hers. Her assumptions-about her grandfather's mistreatment of her mother, about her mother's failure as an artist, about sexuality and desire-are juxtaposed with the history recounted in her aunt's unsent letters. Gone plays a hide and seek game between desire and loss, giving form to what has been lost even as it undoes what it retrieves.
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