Rameau's Niece

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Plume, 1993 - Fiction - 280 pages
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In this delightful literary romp, Cathleen Schine spoofs the cultural elite, taking contemporary fiction to new levels of comedy. Her heroine, Margaret Nathan, is the brilliant though mortifyingly forgetful author of The Anatomy of Madame de Montigny, an unlikely bestseller celebrated as much by feminists as by deconstuctionists. Happily married to a benevolently egotistical Columbia professor, Margaret seems blessed--until she finds herself seduced by an eighteenth-century lascivious novel she has discovered in the library. Margaret becomes so wrapped in its protagonist's life that she begins to imitate her. The result is a neurotic jaunt around Manhattan where Margaret, in search of renewed passion, futilely chases one sexual fantasy after another. Will she find fulfillment with a Belgian stereo equipment manufacturer? Her old friend Lily? How about her hunky dentist? Or maybe she'll have to settle for her husband, Edward--sexy, patient, but a bit too safe and perfect. With the ups and downs of temptation, love, lust, folly, and reconciliation, this modern Candida moves through the sophisticated labyrinth of contemporary Manhattan. Part Romantic comedy, part intellectual parody, Rameau's Niece is wise, affecting, and simply hilarious.

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Rameau's niece

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Although she considers herself happily married to a gregarious Englishman who teaches at Columbia University and is an inveterate quoter of poetry, Margaret Nathan, author of a best-selling scholarly ... Read full review


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About the author (1993)

Cathleen Schine is the author of the novels The Love Letter (a national bestseller translated into twelve languages), Rameau's Niece, To the Birdhouse, and Alice in Bed. She and her husband, journalist and film critic David Denby, have two children and live in New York City.

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