Twelve Rivers of the Body

Elizabeth Oness

Winner of the Gival Press Novel Award - 2007.

Overwhelmed by the growing AIDS crisis and the pressures of medical residency, Elena Tristani abandons an outwardly successful life and takes a job writing grants for The Spirit Gate, a holistic clinic that treats recovering drug addicts with acupuncture. Fascinated by the clinic’s founder, who treats Georgetown’s elite and drug detox patients with the same imperturbability, Elena reconsiders her own views on medicine and health. As Elena comes to know the world of the clinic, she is seduced by an ancient Chinese medical text, The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic, and begins to see a different relationship between Eastern and Western medicine as well as a new path for herself.

"Twelve Rivers of the Body lyrically evokes downtown Washington, DC in the 1980s, before the real estate boom, before gentrification, as the city limped from one crisis to another-crack addiction, AIDS, a crumbling infrastructure. This beautifully evoked novel traces Elena's imperfect struggle, like her adopted city's, to find wholeness and healing." - Kim Roberts


Elizabeth Oness

Elizabeth Oness's stories and poetry have appeared in The Hudson Review, Crazyhorse, Glimmer Train, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, and other magazines. Her stories have received an O. Henry Prize, a Nelson Algren Award, and her story collection Articles of Faith was selected for the 2000 Iowa Short Fiction Prize. Her first novel Departures was published by Penguin in 2004. She directs marketing and development for Sutton Hoo Press, a literary fine press, and lives in rural Minnesota.