The American Woman in the Chinese Hat by Carole Maso
A Novel

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Carole Maso's stunning, erotic fourth novel chronicles the dark, irresistible adventures of an American writer named Catherine who has come to France to live. Set into motion by a single act of abandonment--Catherine's lover of ten years has left her--she falls deeper and deeper into an irretrievable madness. With passionate abandon and detachment Catherine pursues her own destruction. Forcing the boundaries of identity and the limits of her eroticism, she enters a series of blinding sexual encounters with a poet, a fascist, a young Arlesian woman, a fireman, and three thieves. Eerily she splits herself in two so that she is both the one who watches and the one who is watched, creator and creation, author and character, as she observes herself from afar. "And I would like to help her," the one who watches says, "but I can't."

This mesmerizing drama of sex, betrayal, and dissolution is played out against the dazzling backdrop of the beautiful, indifferent Cote d'Azur in summer. Written in a dwindling lexicon with a simple, warped musicality, The American Woman in the Chinese Hat is a dark, uncompromising, seductive work of art.


About Carole Maso

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Carole Maso, the director of the Creative Writing Department at Brown University, is the author of four novels and a book-length erotic prose poem, all of which have received high critical acclaim. She was the recipient of the 1993 Lannan Literary Fellowship for fiction, as well as numerous other awards. Maso has been profiled in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Poets and Writers, The Village Voice, and others. She splits her time between New York and Providence, Rhode Island.
Published May 1, 1994 by Dalkey Archive Press. 201 pages
Genres: Erotica, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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They talk, and talk, largely about their favorite films--he is someone who ``stepped out of an unmade film by the dead Truffaut.'' The reader knows this affair is star-crossed even as Catherine sits writing about it, clearly in the same rose- lighted words that Maso herself uses.

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