Dermansky takes you for a wild ride in her latest slim novel. Leah suddenly finds herself in possession of her ex-boss's red sports car, but the car seems to have a mind of its own. If she could just move over into the next lane, if she could just slow down, if she could just lift her foot off the gas..... but, somehow, she can't.
Leah returns to San Francisco to pick up the car and has a sort of homecoming — remembering her college days there; remembering the woman she was 10 years ago; remembering her life, her friends, her plans for the future.
This is straight-up Dermansky style: simple, clear prose, and characters you don't particularly like. But the author has her hooks deeply buried in you after the first few pages, and it is impossible to put this book down.
Addressing screwed-up relationships, mismatched friendships, furtive sexual encounters, and mid-life ennui, The Red Car is a commentary on life at its messiest. Excellent! Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
With each new novel, Marcy Dermansky deploys her "brainy, emotionally sophisticated" (New York Times) prose to greater and greater heights, and The Red Car is no exception.
Leah is living in Queens with a possessive husband she doesn't love and a long list of unfulfilled ambitions, when she s jolted from a thick ennui by a call from the past. Her beloved former boss and friend, Judy, has died in a car accident and left Leah her most prized possession and, as it turns out, the instrument of Judy s death: a red sports car.
Judy was the mentor Leah never expected. She encouraged Leah s dreams, analyzed her love life, and eased her into adulthood over long lunches away from the office. Facing the jarring disconnect between the life she expected and the one she is now actually living, Leah takes off for San Francisco to claim Judy s car. In sprawling days defined by sex, sorrow, and unexpected delight, Leah revisits past lives and loves in search of a self she abandoned long ago. Piercing through Leah s surreal haze is the enigmatic voice of Judy, as sharp as ever, providing wry commentary on Leah s every move.
Following her "irresistible" (Time) and "wicked" (Slate) novel Bad Marie, Dermansky evokes yet another edgy, capricious, and beautifully haunting heroine one whose search for realization is as wonderfully unpredictable and hypnotic as the twists and turns of the Pacific Coast Highway. Tautly wound, transgressive, and mordantly funny, The Red Car is an incisive exploration of one woman s unusual route to self-discovery.
"Dry, entertaining and crookedly insightful....[The Red Car] is on one level, a fairy tale complete with fairy godmother, and on another, a whispered goad to the reader: Live the life you really want." Marion Winik, Newsday
"In vivid, dreamlike prose....Dermansky delivers a captivating novel about the pursuit of joy that combines dreamlike logic with dark humor, wry observation, and gritty feminism." Kirkus (Starred Review)
"There are few writers who can do what Marcy Dermansky does so effortlessly in The Red Car, the way she pushes this story in such surprising and thrilling directions, never losing control, taking your breath away line by beautiful line. Dermansky writes with such unnerving clarity about grief, not just for the loss of a loved one, but for our own unexpected lives. A strange, unflinching, utterly amazing novel." Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang
"Marcy Dermansky’s The Red Car is a wonder. Moving, mysterious and filled with dark, sly humor, it rustles under your skin and stays there. By the time I reached its shimmering final pages, I wanted to go right back to the beginning and start again." Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me
"I've been waiting and waiting for a new book from Marcy Dermansky and finally that new book is here. The Red Car is taut and smart and strange and sweet and perfect. I want to eat this book or sew it to my skin or something." Roxane Gay, author of The Untamed State and Bad Feminist
About the Author
Marcy Dermansky is the author of the novels The Red Car, Bad Marie, and Twins. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Salon, the Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She lives in New Jersey with her daughter.
Marcy Dermansky on PowellsBooks.Blog
Sometimes I feel low on ideas. I finish a book and then I have nothing. A year can pass. Two years. Three. I have to trick myself to start again. My new novel, The Red Car
, is a product of my latest trick: a writing exercise that paid off. I wrote my very own Haruki Murakami novel...