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Surrender the Pink


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The tendency of Dinah Kaufman to blur the borders between her life and the soap opera scripts she pens is the central conceit of Fisher's ( Postcards From the Edge ) second novel. Two years after the breakup of her marriage to award-winning playwright Rudy Gendler, Dinah remains in limbo, not really wanting him back but lacking a satisfying stand-in. So, idled by a writers' strike, she tails Rudy and his current love, the compliant Lindsey, to the Hamptons. Dinah proves to be the prototypical ``new woman'' in her uncertainties and gender confusions; she finds it hard to relinquish the ``pink'' girlish fantasy that a man will indeed secure her happiness ever after. She knows she always seems to love men who later leave her, but understanding this and changing her life for the better pose two distinctly different challenges. Only after making a dismal attempt to conform to Rudy's expectations of her does Dinah finally--and literally--write him out of her life. Unlike Fisher's fragmented, rather brittle first book, this one allows readers to get close to the main character, with the result that smart, funny Dinah is also quite touching. Author tour; Literary Guild alternate; Doubleday book club alternate. (Sept.)

The five connected vignettes of actress Fisher's first novel, Postcards from the Edge (LJ 8/87), exhibited greater coherence and stronger plot than this rambling, talky second novel. Here Dinah Kaufman, soap opera writer/producer, works through her divorce from her long-time companion/husband, playwright Rudy Gendler. Despite some very funny bits (especially one with Mama, a Sag Harbor psychic), the ``process'' still seems interminable. By novel's end, the reader may feel like Blaine MacDonald, one of Kaufman's soap opera characters, who says on his deathbed, ``You know, one of the things I'm looking forward to most about dying? . . . I won't have to talk about relationships anymore.'' A disappointment, but readers of Postcards will probably request this. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/90; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates.-- Francine Fial koff, ``Library Journal''

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