Now You See Her

Now You See Her

by Whitney Otto
     
 

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"Graceful...Poetic...Otto's voice is sympathetic and direct, her imagination equally practical and romantic."
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
"ENCHANTING...ASTONISHING AND LOVELY."
—Entertainment Weekly
Kiki Shaw, a game show question writer, is about to turn forty. She doesn't mind that, except that she's also disappearing. Parts of her that were…  See more details below

Overview

"Graceful...Poetic...Otto's voice is sympathetic and direct, her imagination equally practical and romantic."
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
"ENCHANTING...ASTONISHING AND LOVELY."
—Entertainment Weekly
Kiki Shaw, a game show question writer, is about to turn forty. She doesn't mind that, except that she's also disappearing. Parts of her that were always there are vanishing, and no one seems to notice. As she contemplates this experience, Kiki makes certain discoveries about her life and those of the women closest to her. Perhaps they will all evanesce bit by bit, until they detect where they misplaced themselves and their once-promising lives (.
As she did in her New York Times bestseller, How to Make an American Quilt, Whitney Otto has created a rich gallery of voices and lives that draws us in and pierces our perceptions of who we are or should be.
"The sight of a work and talent in progress is welcome in the House of Fiction."
—The New York Times
"You are in the hands of a master. Now sit back and enjoy it."
—The Hartford Courant
"[This] gradually, even magically, unfolds to yield another of Otto's intricate, intimate tapestries."
—Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Just as Otto's How to Make an American Quilt arranged details of disparate lives so they came together in a quilt-like literary pattern, her second novel is given cohesion by one basic notion--illusion. The insecure central character, Kiki Shaw, is single and nearing 40 when she notices that she's becoming transparent. As she plays gin with friends, she imagines they can see the suit of a card through her thumb; she watches a cat walk through her leg. Kiki's insubstantiality mirrors the figurative invisibility of several other women: her widowed mother, so accustomed to solitude that she forgets her manners when people are present; another woman who molds her personality to suit each new beau; a married man's mistress who stays out of sight until called upon; and the same man's wife, who pointedly ignores his infidelity just as he has ignored her for years. Kiki, a trivia buff who compiles categories for a game show, hopes to find an explanation for these dissolutions somewhere in her encyclopedic knowledge; she begins collecting notes on the heart, on the moon, on scientific and mathematical objects with sentimental or mystical connotations. One character comments that ``ephemera. . . are the abstractions that rule our lives, and aren't time and money just another way of saying music and math?'' This methodical deconstruction of symbol and substance at first seems detached but gradually, even magically, unfolds to yield another of Otto's intricate, intimate tapestries. Author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Kiki Shaw, approaching age 40, finds that she is becoming invisible. This process is the result of the American male's attitude toward single, aging women. Kiki's women friends are also being rendered invisible and weightless, both physically and psychologically. Each has her own way of coping. Kiki finds the process unnerving but is helpless to stop it. When she disappears completely, she goes to Paris, where she meets the ghost of her namesake, Kiki de Montparnasse. The ghost tells her that to become visible again, she must define herself rather than allowing outside forces to define her. Otto, author of How To Make an American Quilt (Villard, 1991), writes of this time of passage in women's lives with imagination and humor. This book is charming and well written. Recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/94.-- Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Providence

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345378262
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/07/1995
Edition description:
1st Ballantine Books ed
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.17(w) x 8.03(h) x 0.96(d)

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