Susan Minot is the author of EVENING, MONKEYS, and LUST AND OTHER STORIES. She lives in New York City and Maine.
Two old lovers meet again for another erotic union, but their stories lead in different directions. With a ten-city author tour and a 60,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
'Mesmerising.' Vogue 'Few novels capture so delicately the bittersweet ambiguities of love.' Esquire 'Susan Minot's third novel makes painfully honest reading for anyone who's ever fallen for the wrong man. Unsettling and beautifully written.' She 'Susan Minot is a precise and accomplished writer, and Rapture is a handsome artefact, combining fine attention to physical detail with a keen sense of the evasions and queasy half-truths of lust and attraction.' Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph 'Minot writes very well about the bad faith and special pleading that attend the break-up of an affair, and about the way that love can turn into obsession. The rigid formal constraints that she has imposed upon herself only sharpen the intensity of the writing.' Christina Koning, The Times 'A brilliant new novel which strips bare the complexities of love ...A haunting tale of love lost which will leave a mark long after you've turned the page.'Glasgow Evening Times 'A brilliantly observed account of a doomed love affair. Witty and unusual.' Sunday Express, READ OF THE WEEK
Minot's new novella, set on the fringes of the film world, addresses one of her perennial themes, the different meaning men and women give to passion. Thirty-four-year-old Kay Bailey, a film production designer, has an affair with director Benjamin Young while they are shooting a film in Mexico. Benjamin, however, is engaged to Vanessa Crane, the girlfriend who has seen him through the ups and mostly downs of his filmmaking career. When Kay and Benjamin return to New York City, she tries to end the affair. But he is persistent, and what was casual becomes serious for Kay. All of this is narrated during one act of sex as, in alternating interior monologues, the two recall the events that have led to this moment. Engaged as they are, they do not speak; the landscape of their sex is entirely in their imaginations, and they could not imagine it more differently. While Kay comes to exalt the moment, Benjamin reveals himself as a cad, his life on the skids. Minot (Monkeys; Lust; Evening) has a great ear for the callow way people talk, scrupulously mimicking their groping thoughts and at times making a poetry of their inarticulateness: "She sort of sidewise conjured up a semidomestic arrangement tilting away from the totally conventional one she'd experienced with her parents." Moreover, Minot doesn't hide her characters' pretentiousness, as when Benjamin envisions his weak will as an "unfixable blot of doom" or Kay feels "altered in some big nameless way." All of which should add up to great satire, but Minot's novella is satiric only intermittently. She seems to take Kay's beatification seriously; even Benjamin is granted a cascade of sad and heroic images near his climax. The book is an odd amalgam, at times a smart satire, at times a way-we-live-now portrayal of 30-something life. Other times it just, well, sort of strains credibility. (Jan. 28) Forecast: The "he said, she said" premise is titillating, and readers will respond accordingly regardless of the critical reception. Some may grumble at the book's brevity, but the 60,000-copy first printing should sell out easily. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.