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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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American Woman

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Susan Choi's first novel, The Foreign Student, was published to remarkable critical acclaim. The New Yorker called it "an auspicious debut," and the Los Angeles Times touted it as "a novel of extraordinary sensibility and transforming strangeness," naming it one of the ten best books of the year. American Woman, this gifted writer's second book, is a novel of even greater scope and dramatic complexity, about a young Japanese-American radical caught in the militant underground of the mid-1970s.

When 25-year-old Jenny Shimada steps out of the Rhinecliff train station in New York's Hudson Valley, the last person she expects to see is Rob Frazer, a shadowy figure from her previous life. On the lam for an act of violence against the American government, Jenny agrees to take on the job of caring for three younger fugitives whom Frazer has spirited out of California. One of them, the granddaughter of a wealthy newspaper magnate in San Francisco, has become a national celebrity. Kidnapped by a homegrown revolutionary group, Pauline shocked America when she embraced her captors' ideology, denouncing family and class to enlist in their radical cell.

American Woman unfolds the story of Jenny and her charges — Pauline, Juan, and Yvonne, the remains of the busted revolutionary cadre — as they pursue their destinies from an old farmhouse in upstate New York back to California. Provocative, suspenseful, and often wickedly comic, the novel explores the psychology of the young radicals — outsiders all — as isolation and paranoia inevitably undermine their ideals. American Woman is a tour de force with chilling resonance for readers today.

Review:

"[G]rainy psychological depth and texture....While the unfolding drama...is enthralling, it is Choi's skill at getting inside the heads of her protagonists that gives the novel its particular, unsettling appeal." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[A]mbitious...intellectually provocative and vividly imagined but weighed down by its intentions. Despite some fine writing, [it] seems as much like a seminar...as it does a novel....Earnest but disappointing." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[M]esmerizing....[S]ustains its own unwavering, original voice....Choi crafts complex, believable characters....How it all comes together in an engrossing and emotive story is testament to Choi's deft narration. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"With uncompromising grace and mastery, Susan Choi renders the intimate moments which bring to life a tale of prodigious sweep." Jhumpa Lahiri

Review:

"Few writers since Graham Greene have brought such tender, insightful, poetic, intelligent, darkly comic writing to the political thriller." Francisco Goldman

Review:

"Enthralling, it is Choi's skill at getting inside the heads of her protagonists that gives the novel its particular, unsettling appeal [and]...grainy psychological depth and texture." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Enthralling." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"A hypnotic, winding route through the scorched emotional landscape of 1974." Village Voice

Review:

"Intellectually provocative and vividly imagined." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Prepare to be held hostage by Susan Choi's mesmerizing American Woman." Vanity Fair

Review:

"Riveting...Choi has the rare gift of bringing sycg notorious moments of history back to life and making them altogether new." Vogue

Review:

"A brilliant read...astonishing in its honesty and confidence American Woman is a haunting book." Denver Post

Review:

"Brilliant...Choi's insightful understanding vivid description, lyrical use of language and deft dialogue make it an overall reading pleasure." Oregonian

Synopsis:

An intimately charged novel of desire and disaster from the author of American Woman and A Person of Interest

Regina Gottlieb had been warned about Professor Nicholas Brodeur long before arriving as a graduate student at his prestigious university high on a pastoral hill.  He’s said to lie in the dark in his office while undergraduate women read couplets to him. He’s condemned on the walls of the women’s restroom, and enjoys films by Roman Polanski. But no one has warned Regina about his exceptional physical beauty—or his charismatic, volatile wife.

My Education is the story of Regina’s mistakes, which only begin in the bedroom, and end—if they do—fifteen years in the future and thousands of miles away. By turns erotic and completely catastrophic, Regina’s misadventures demonstrate what can happen when the chasm between desire and duty is too wide to bridge.

About the Author

Susan Choi was born in Indiana and grew up in Texas. Her first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the Discover Great New Writers Award at Barnes & Noble. With David Remnick, she edited an anthology of fiction entitled Wonderful Town: New York Stories from the New Yorker. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060542214
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Harper
Author:
Choi, Susan
Location:
New York
Subject:
California
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Social isolation
Subject:
Women radicals
Subject:
Fugitives from justice
Subject:
Women revolutionaries
Subject:
Women terrorists.
Subject:
Hudson River Valley
Subject:
Kidnapping victims
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
156-158
Publication Date:
August 19, 2003
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

American Woman
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 384 pages HarperCollins Publishers - English 9780060542214 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[G]rainy psychological depth and texture....While the unfolding drama...is enthralling, it is Choi's skill at getting inside the heads of her protagonists that gives the novel its particular, unsettling appeal."
"Review" by , "[A]mbitious...intellectually provocative and vividly imagined but weighed down by its intentions. Despite some fine writing, [it] seems as much like a seminar...as it does a novel....Earnest but disappointing."
"Review" by , "[M]esmerizing....[S]ustains its own unwavering, original voice....Choi crafts complex, believable characters....How it all comes together in an engrossing and emotive story is testament to Choi's deft narration. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "With uncompromising grace and mastery, Susan Choi renders the intimate moments which bring to life a tale of prodigious sweep."
"Review" by , "Few writers since Graham Greene have brought such tender, insightful, poetic, intelligent, darkly comic writing to the political thriller."
"Review" by , "Enthralling, it is Choi's skill at getting inside the heads of her protagonists that gives the novel its particular, unsettling appeal [and]...grainy psychological depth and texture."
"Review" by , "Enthralling."
"Review" by , "A hypnotic, winding route through the scorched emotional landscape of 1974."
"Review" by , "Intellectually provocative and vividly imagined."
"Review" by , "Prepare to be held hostage by Susan Choi's mesmerizing American Woman."
"Review" by , "Riveting...Choi has the rare gift of bringing sycg notorious moments of history back to life and making them altogether new."
"Review" by , "A brilliant read...astonishing in its honesty and confidence American Woman is a haunting book."
"Review" by , "Brilliant...Choi's insightful understanding vivid description, lyrical use of language and deft dialogue make it an overall reading pleasure."
"Synopsis" by ,
An intimately charged novel of desire and disaster from the author of American Woman and A Person of Interest

Regina Gottlieb had been warned about Professor Nicholas Brodeur long before arriving as a graduate student at his prestigious university high on a pastoral hill.  He’s said to lie in the dark in his office while undergraduate women read couplets to him. He’s condemned on the walls of the women’s restroom, and enjoys films by Roman Polanski. But no one has warned Regina about his exceptional physical beauty—or his charismatic, volatile wife.

My Education is the story of Regina’s mistakes, which only begin in the bedroom, and end—if they do—fifteen years in the future and thousands of miles away. By turns erotic and completely catastrophic, Regina’s misadventures demonstrate what can happen when the chasm between desire and duty is too wide to bridge.

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