Harem Wish

Harem Wish

by Jan Carr

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Carr follows more than 20 children's and YA books with an erotic, poignant and slyly satirical adult debut with two distinct settings: contemporary New York City and a fairy-tale harem somewhere in far off-Felix Arabia, long ago in the distant and possibly fictional past. Codie James is a children's book editor and aspiring ballet dancer whose relationship with her lesbian lover Dee is beginning to deteriorate. The disordered account of Codie and Dee's love affair, from its passionate beginning to its angry end, parallels Codie's fantasy romance between her other self, the concubine Sari, and Anwa, the Mukarrib's favorite. Meanwhile, the atmosphere at Codie's publishing company goes from bad to a very hilarious worse: in one wickedly accurate scene, the company's marketing whiz reveals the automatic success of any book with ``wish'' in the title. ``So what we obviously need to do to really capitalize on the supremo power of the word is to create a new series, one that could generate a book a month, maybe more.'' Codie must come to grips with her job, relationships (real and fantastic) and the truth of an unhappy childhood, but the superabundance of material never overwhelms the story. Quick cuts from one scene to the next keep the pages moving briskly and inevitably towards a moving, hopeful conclusion. Carr is capable of great tenderness, and her playful, pun-filled voice is a delight. Author tour. (Apr.)
Marie Kuda
Carr braids a bloody fairy tale, a lesbian romance, and a psychological trip back into childhood trauma into a snare for the reader. The fairy tale, involving Sari the virgin dancer and her ill-fated lover, Anwa, favorite of the moment in the harem of the mukarrib in some fabulous Middle Eastern country, is the creation of children's book editor Kodiak--Codie for short--whose lover, a cab driver named Dee, is slipping away from her. Carr has this development lead backward into Codie's childhood in search of the reason for her need to escape from reality into Sari's world. The familiarly exotic Arabian Nights-like imagery mesmerizes with its repetition and its opulent counterpoint to Codie's mounting confusion and disillusionment in the contemporary, "real" world. Carr's intriguing first novel also affords behind-the-scenes glimpses of the children's book trade, not to mention its wedding Carr's credits as writer for "Playgirl" and "Variety" and as author of some 20 children's and YA books.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.78(w) x 5.70(h) x 0.85(d)

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