October 12, 1986 |
On Page 4 of this extraordinary new novel, Carolyn See writes disarmingly, "This is partly the story of Lorna Villanelle and me; two ladies absolutely crazed with the secret thought that they were something special. But if you think you aren't going to care about this story, hold on. It's the most important story in the Western world! Believe me." Believe her!
May 14, 2006 |
THERE'S a scene in Carolyn See's new novel, "There Will Never Be Another You," that could be a blueprint for this sly and stealthy rabbit-punch of a book. The 64-year-old narrator, Edith, a recent widow, is on a date at Culver City's Jazz Bakery. Four musicians -- three old guys in shiny suits and a young drummer dressed in sweats -- stroll onstage and play "There Will Never Be Another You." The audience sighs in recognition.
July 13, 1995
Carolyn See, novelist, essayist, book reviewer (the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post) and winner of the Robert Kirsch Body of Work Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction, will conduct a weekend workshop from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 22 to 23 at Learning Tree University's Thousand Oaks Campus. This is a rare opportunity to learn from an accomplished, charismatic author how to create and craft the novel.
March 7, 1999 |
Carolyn See's tender and funny new novel begins with an extended serio-parodic Guggenheim application, dated August 2027, for a grant to study the work of the mystical genius artist, Peter Hampton. This is an odd and inciting preface to a novel about Hampton, circa 1996, $10-dollar-an-hour handyman in Los Angeles, drifter, lost soul, dilettante art student, would-be painter. I am ready to award the fellowship, even if the artist doesn't exist except in See's mind.
March 5, 1995 |
Imagine knowing that it's Thanksgiving because your Uncle Bob sets himself on fire. That it's Easter because you are in Las Vegas, where the Risen Christ is a topless dancer on a skating rink, performing "Spice on Ice." Your grandfather, who took most of his hunting-guide wages in whiskey, dies drunk in a snowdrift. Your grandmother blows her head off with a shotgun. Your mother, with a pint of vodka in her Bible, plays tag at night inside a high-voltage power station.
September 15, 1991 |
In the California over which Carolyn See presides in her fifth novel, "Making History," the center of the world is the Pacific Rim. If to be a California writer is to have a certain self-awareness and mind set, then the author has surely grasped and presented the hard news about contemporary West Coast relationships in this novel, perceptive in its details and ambitious in its daring.