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The Uses of Enchantment

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The Uses of Enchantment Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In late afternoon on November 7, 1985, sixteen-year-old Mary Veal was abducted after field hockey practice at her all-girls New England prep school. Or was she?

A few weeks later an unharmed Mary reappears as suddenly and mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming to have little memory of what happened to her. Her mother, concerned that Mary has somehow been sullied by the experience, sends her to therapy with a psychologist named Dr. Hammer. Mary turns out to be a cagey and difficult patient and Dr. Hammer begins to suspect Mary concocted her tale of abduction when he discovers its parallels with a seventeenth-century narrative of a girl who was abducted by Indians and later caused her rescuer to be hanged as a witch. Hammer, eager to further his professional reputation, decides to write a book about Mary's faked abduction, a project her mother sanctions because she'd rather her daughter be a liar than a rape victim.

Fifteen years later, Mary has returned to Boston for her mother's funeral. Her abduction—real or imagined—has tainted many lives, including her own. When Mary finds a suggestive letter sent to her mother, she suspects her mother planned a reconciliation before her death. Thus begins a quest that requires Mary to revisit the people and places in her past.

The Uses of Enchantment weaves a spell in which the power of a young woman's sexuality, and her desire to wield it, has a devastating effect on all involved. The riveting cat-and-mouse power games between doctor and patient, and between abductor and abductee, are gradually, dreamily revealed, along with the truth about what actually happened in 1985.

Heidi Julavits is in full command of her considerable gifts, and has crafted a dazzling narrative sure to garner her further acclaim as one of the best novelists working today.

Review:

"Echoes and parodies of complex psychosexual antecedents, including Freud's analysis of Dora, the Salem witch trials and parts of The Malleus Maleficarum, underlieJulavits's third novel. The novel's complex structure (it spans 15 years and weaves back and forth in time) creates listening problems that tax even a skilled performer like Shelly Frasier. Mary Veal, who may or may not have been kidnapped as a teen returns to West Salem, Mass., years later for her mother's funeral. Characters sound too similar: Mary sounds too much like her teen self and the two male characters, Mary's first therapist and the alleged kidnapper have almost identical voices. The same problem conflates Mary's sisters, Regina and Gaby. Frasier does a better job with Mary's well-to-do Aunt Helen and Roz Biedelman, Mary's second therapist, who is the manipulative spider at the center of this tangled web of a novel. Enchantment might be too much for any single reader to tackle, and a cast approach would have been a better idea. However, Frasier is an engaging performer, and the spell of this beguiling work will entrance listeners to the very end. A Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, July 10, 2006). (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

The Uses of Enchantment weaves a spell in which the power of a young woman's sexuality, and her desire to wield it, has a devastating effect on all involved. The riveting cat-and-mouse power games between doctor and patient, and between abductor and abductee, are gradually, dreamily revealed, along with the truth about what actually happened in 1985.

Heidi Julavits is in full command of her considerable gifts, and has crafted a dazzling narrative sure to garner her further acclaim as one of the best novelists working today.

Synopsis:

In late afternoon on November 7, 1985, sixteen-year-old Mary Veal was abducted after field hockey practice at her all-girls New England prep school. Or was she?A few weeks later an unharmed Mary reappears as suddenly and mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming to have little memory of what happened to her. Her mother, concerned that Mary has somehow been sullied by the experience, sends her to therapy with a psychologist named Dr. Hammer. Mary turns out to be a cagey and difficult patient and Dr. Hammer begins to suspect Mary concocted her tale of abduction when he discovers its parallels with a seventeenth-century narrative of a girl who was abducted by Indians and later caused her rescuer to be hanged as a witch. Hammer, eager to further his professional reputation, decides to write a book about Mary's faked abduction, a project her mother sanctions because she'd rather her daughter be a liar than a rape victim. Fifteen years later, Mary has returned to Boston for her mothe

About the Author

Heidi Julavits has published short fiction in Esquire; her nonfiction has been published in Poets and Writers and Time Out New York. A 1990 graduate of Dartmouth, she has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is at work on her second novel.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400103492
Author:
Julavits, Heidi
Publisher:
Tantor Media Inc
Read by:
Frasier, Shelly
Read:
Frasier, Shelly
Author:
Frasier, Shelly
Location:
Old Saybrook
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Kidnapping
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Edition Description:
Unabridged,Unabridged CD
Publication Date:
20070131
Binding:
COMPACT DISC
Language:
English
Dimensions:
5.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 in 0.5 lb
Media Run Time:
630

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Uses of Enchantment New Compact Disc
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Product details pages Tantor Media - English 9781400103492 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Echoes and parodies of complex psychosexual antecedents, including Freud's analysis of Dora, the Salem witch trials and parts of The Malleus Maleficarum, underlieJulavits's third novel. The novel's complex structure (it spans 15 years and weaves back and forth in time) creates listening problems that tax even a skilled performer like Shelly Frasier. Mary Veal, who may or may not have been kidnapped as a teen returns to West Salem, Mass., years later for her mother's funeral. Characters sound too similar: Mary sounds too much like her teen self and the two male characters, Mary's first therapist and the alleged kidnapper have almost identical voices. The same problem conflates Mary's sisters, Regina and Gaby. Frasier does a better job with Mary's well-to-do Aunt Helen and Roz Biedelman, Mary's second therapist, who is the manipulative spider at the center of this tangled web of a novel. Enchantment might be too much for any single reader to tackle, and a cast approach would have been a better idea. However, Frasier is an engaging performer, and the spell of this beguiling work will entrance listeners to the very end. A Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, July 10, 2006). (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The Uses of Enchantment weaves a spell in which the power of a young woman's sexuality, and her desire to wield it, has a devastating effect on all involved. The riveting cat-and-mouse power games between doctor and patient, and between abductor and abductee, are gradually, dreamily revealed, along with the truth about what actually happened in 1985.

Heidi Julavits is in full command of her considerable gifts, and has crafted a dazzling narrative sure to garner her further acclaim as one of the best novelists working today.

"Synopsis" by ,
In late afternoon on November 7, 1985, sixteen-year-old Mary Veal was abducted after field hockey practice at her all-girls New England prep school. Or was she?A few weeks later an unharmed Mary reappears as suddenly and mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming to have little memory of what happened to her. Her mother, concerned that Mary has somehow been sullied by the experience, sends her to therapy with a psychologist named Dr. Hammer. Mary turns out to be a cagey and difficult patient and Dr. Hammer begins to suspect Mary concocted her tale of abduction when he discovers its parallels with a seventeenth-century narrative of a girl who was abducted by Indians and later caused her rescuer to be hanged as a witch. Hammer, eager to further his professional reputation, decides to write a book about Mary's faked abduction, a project her mother sanctions because she'd rather her daughter be a liar than a rape victim. Fifteen years later, Mary has returned to Boston for her mothe
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