Walking the Dog by Elizabeth Swados

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...those set at a Dickensian federal prison in Ohio, where Carleen is nearly beaten to death, are generic...Though it’s not Swados’s best work, the novel’s wit and intelligence showcase her talent.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Former child prodigy and rich-girl kleptomaniac, Ester—renamed into the gentile Carleen for her own protection—is incarcerated after a botched heist. For two decades, time is the enemy. Her twenties and thirties crawl by in stifling isolation. When finally let loose onto the streets of New York, she finds a job wrestling spoiled canines as a dog walker in Manhattan's most elite neighborhoods, relating better with their brutish instincts than with their human owners. Determined to also prove herself a real person, Carleen tries to reconnect with her estranged and ferociously Orthodox daughter.

Amid the strained brunch dates, unsent letters, and the continuing trauma of prison, Carleen begins a slow and halting process of self-discovery. Strikingly funny and self aware, this belated coming-of-age novel asks the question: How do you restart after crashing your first chance at life?
 

About Elizabeth Swados

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Elizabeth Swados is a playwright, director, composer, poet, children's book author, and memoirist. She lives in New York City.
 
Published May 16, 2016 by The Feminist Press at CUNY. 392 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Walking the Dog
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Apr 13 2016

Swados (My Depression: A Picture Book, 2005, etc.), a respected playwright, died at 64 just after finishing this novel. One of a kind. Deserves a big splash and lots of readers.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Nov 19 2016

...those set at a Dickensian federal prison in Ohio, where Carleen is nearly beaten to death, are generic...Though it’s not Swados’s best work, the novel’s wit and intelligence showcase her talent.

Read Full Review of Walking the Dog | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly
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