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Calling Outby Rae Meadows
Synopses & Reviews
In convincing and atmospheric prose, Rae Meadows (one of Poets & Writers' Five Debut Writers to Watch in 2006) takes us into America's heartland, where a transplanted New Yorker finds that trouble can be found anywhere. As Jane transitions from being a successful copywriter with a screenwriter boyfriend to a single, insecure secretary at a Salt Lake City-based escort service, she allows herself to descend into the lonely world of sexual commerce, and discovers — through her "bad" behavior — a new sense of self.
"After a rough breakup followed by a few months of wanly suicidal gestures like 'switching to nonlight cigarettes, not washing my hands after the subway, forgoing my seatbelt and driving fast,' Jane (no last name) packs her life in her car and leaves New York, headed west. When she stops in Utah and takes a job answering phones at a Mormon-approved escort service, she is adamant that she won't go any further into the sex trade than the front desk. But perhaps inevitably, she finds herself working as an escort and coming alive through her 'dates.' Although there is body contact, her new duties involve more playacting and kindness than full sex — which provides a foil for all the playacting and kindness she'd offered her ex, McCallister, who attempts to woo her back, tepidly, throughout. Meadows, making her debut, gives Jane a thoughtfully staccato first-person, but it isn't quite enough to wrestle larger insights from her racy, provocative premise. (June 27)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Meadows displays strong narrative technique as she brings the disjointed culture of Mormon-ruled Salt Lake City and a group of 20-something Latter Day Sinners into high relief....[A] writer to watch." Kirkus Reviews
"The characters are quirky enough to keep the reader interested, while at the same time they seem to stay within the realm of reality, though always on the edge." Bookreporter.com
"Rae Meadows' novel is a sexy, confident, totally winning debut...she brings the sordid world of the escort business into affecting and often hilarious relief....[She] is a shining talent." Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng and The Real McCoy
"[Meadows'] sharp first novel combines the au courant theme of Mormonism with the timeless allure of the world's oldest profession." Entertainment Weekly
"A spare, addictive debut novel....Meadows captures her frazzled, antic characters and their world with such empathy and with such a keen reportorial eye that you could just about open your own escort agency after reading the novel." Newsweek
In convincing and atmospheric prose, Meadows takes readers into America's heartland, where a transplanted New Yorker finds that trouble can be found anywhere.
About the Author
Rae Meadows is a graduate of Stanford University and the MFA program at the University of Utah. She is the author of the novel Calling Out, which received the 2006 Utah Book Award for fiction and was named one of the best books of 2006 by the Chicago Tribune. Her stories have appeared in various literary magazines, most recently in Avery. She lives with her husband and daughter in Madison, Wisconsin.
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