Danzy Senna Symptomatic

ISBN 13: 9781573222754

Symptomatic

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9781573222754: Symptomatic
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Moving to New York City to take a dream job with a respected magazine, a recent college graduate finds herself displaced and uncertain of where she fits into the world around her, a situation that is complicated when she becomes the object of an older woman's attentions as her own life spirals out of control. By the author of Caucasia. 30,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Danzy Senna is the recipient of the 2002 Whiting Writers' Award. Her first novel, Caucasia, was a national bestseller and winner of the BOMC Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and of an Alex Award from the American Library Association. It was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year, one of Glamour's three best books of the year by a new writer, one of School Library Journal's best adult books of the year for young adults, and a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Senna currently holds the Jenks Chair of Contemporary American Letters at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

From Publishers Weekly:

A young biracial woman's postcollege year in New York proves psychologically challenging in Senna's muddled second novel. The unnamed narrator has landed a prestigious fellowship and a job as a reporter at a big New York magazine, not to mention a "strange lovely" new boyfriend who moves her into his apartment faster than she can say "nice place." But when Andrew-who thinks she's white-introduces her to his Andover pals, racist comments send her on a hunt for independence and a place of her own. An older co-worker, Greta Hicks, comes to the rescue with a sublet offer from her hairdresser's cousin; it's in a "transitional" Brooklyn neighborhood, but, hey, the rent's cheap. The narrator, habitually musing on her secret history, slowly gets used to Brooklyn style as Greta insinuates herself into her life. Her love life rebounds when she's assigned a story on talented Ivers Greene, whom Greta calls "the great ghetto artiste" and who becomes the narrator's new beau. But Greta's being creepy-she suggests they give each other bikini waxes, for one thing-and then she starts spying on the narrator, berating her, stalking her, etc. The first half of Senna's novel works in places, particularly when she outlines her narrator's growing sense of alienation from Andrew, her fatigue with racial politics and her difficulties in adapting to New York life. But the second half turns increasingly lurid and cartoonish, particularly when Greta's relationship to the wild previous occupant of the narrator's apartment is revealed. Senna addressed similar issues of race and identity with verve and panache in Caucasian, but this follow-up shows signs of the sophomore slump.
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