This book is scheduled to be published on 30/03/2023.
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Tessa is a successful writer who develops a friendship, first by correspondence and then in person, with Charlie, a ruggedly handsome philosopher and scholar. Sparks fly as they exchange ideas about Camus and masculine desire, and their intellectual connection promises more – but there are obstacles to this burgeoning relationship.
While Tessa’s husband Milton enjoys Charlie’s company, Charlie’s wife Wah is a different case, and she proves to be both adversary and conundrum to Tessa. Wah’s traditional femininity and subservience to her husband strike Tessa as weaknesses, and she scoffs at the sacrifices Wah makes as adoptive mother to a Burmese girl, Htet. But Wah has a kind of power too, especially over Charlie, and the conflict between the two women leads to Tessa’s martini-fueled declaration that Wah is ‘an insult to womankind.’ As Tessa is forced to deal with the consequences of her outburst, she wonders if Wah is really as weak as she has seemed, or if she might have a different kind of strength altogether.
An exercise in empathy, an exploration of betrayal and a charged story of the thrill of a shared connection – and the perils of feminine rivalry – My Nemesis is a brilliantly dramatic and captivating story from a hugely talented writer.
Taut, bristling and psychologically profound...Slimmer, punchier and more tightly wound [than her previous work], My Nemesis highlights her talent for capturing the minutiae of interpersonal drama. * The Economist * A blisteringly smart novel about feminism, identity and desire that refuses easy answers and will linger for a long time in my mind. -- Monica Ali The writing is biting and propulsive...This confident work is sure to spark conversations. * Publishers Weekly * A simple plot summary cannot capture the depth of Craig's treatment of such big themes as femininity and masculinity, motherhood and fatherhood, friendship and love...Craig offers an effective inquiry into the elusive nature of intimate relationships, whether they stem from love or hate. * Booklist * Charmaine Craig's brilliant anatomization of mid-life art, identity and infidelity shares in the intellectual grace and precision of its characters' philosophical pursuits, yet beneath the ruminative surface this book churns with desire and remorse. -- Jonathan Lethem, author of THE ARREST I was bowled over by this brilliant narrative of desire, complicity and the limits of empathy. My Nemesis is a compact masterpiece in the confessional mode, one that reverberates long after the last page is turned. Bravo! -- Antoine Wilson, author of MOUTH TO MOUTH I devoured this sly, seething novel. So marvelously perceptive, so effortlessly elegant, it lays bare the horror of what husbands and wives expect of each other. My Nemesis is a pearl cultivated in justified rage. I loved it. -- Sarah Manguso, author of VERY COLD PEOPLE As deeply empathic as it is thrillingly addictive, My Nemesis is a stunning and brave literary feat. Charmaine Craig's searing prose and complex vision challenges us to abandon the safety and certainty of our own perspectives. What begins as a novel of female rivalry quickly transforms into a profound spiritual meditation on the danger of our inability - or unwillingness - to imagine and dignify the inner life of the other. With luminous grace, Craig's writing is a testament to the transcendent power and peace possible when we dare to try. -- Fatima Farheen Mirza, author of A PLACE FOR US My Nemesis is an exhilarating act of defiance, a novel that lights a match and sends the whole question of female characters' likability up in flames. Charmaine Craig is a writer unafraid of contradictions - at once elegant and unruly, cool yet searing - and here she's given us a fiercely philosophical novel that is also irresistibly, addictively readable. -- Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, author of LIKES A timely exposition of trust after trauma . . . In reimagining the extraordinary lives of her mother and grandparents, Craig produces some passages of exquisitely precise description * New York Times Book Review on MISS BURMA * Like many of the best books, Miss Burma feels rooted in its time and place, while also laying bare timeless questions of loyalty, infidelity, patriotism and identity - not to mention the globally perpetuated unfair treatment of women * Elle on MISS BURMA * [A] riveting account of the treacheries, fractures and courageous acts of wartime * BBC (10 Books to Read in May) on MISS BURMA * Charmaine Craig wields powerful and vivid prose to illuminate a country and a family trapped not only by war and revolution, but also by desire and loss. Both epic and intimate, Miss Burma is a compelling and disturbing trip through Burmese history and politics. -- Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of THE SYMPATHIZER on MISS BURMA
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