Symptomatic: A Novel

Front Cover
Riverhead Books, 2004 - Fiction - 213 pages
32 Reviews
A novel of acute psychological tension and unsettling questions of identity-the much-anticipated follow-up to Senna's groundbreaking debut, Caucasia.

Danzy Senna's tantalizing new novel centers on a college graduate, recently moved to New York City for what promises to be a dream job-a prestigious fellowship writing for a respected magazine. Displaced, though, and unsure of how she fits into the world around her, she becomes the object of an older woman's attention: both women share the same difficult-to-place skin color. As the older woman's interest turns to obsession, the narrator must figure out what their relationship means to her-while both of their lives seem to be spiraling out of control.

Senna's Caucasiawas a highly acclaimed debut that went on to become a contemporary classic. In Symptomatic, she takes questions of identity a step further, in a beautifully written novel that is at once suspenseful, erotic, clever, and, as The New York Timeswrote of Caucasia, "deeply intelligent."

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

The plot twists are mindblowing. - Goodreads
Not a page turner but entertaining. - Goodreads
The ending to this book is really good, I think. - Goodreads
And there's a plot twist at the end! - Goodreads

Review: Symptomatic

User Review  - Gretchen - Goodreads

Riveting read, a nice slice of commentary on race from a biracial perspective. Slightly creepy Read full review

Review: Symptomatic

User Review  - Dearwassily - Goodreads

2.5 stars--meh. Quick, easy read on a sick day. Read full review

All 29 reviews »


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

24 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Danzy Senna is the recipient of the 2002 Whiting Writers' Award. Her first novel, Caucasia, was a national bestseller and winner of the BOMC Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and of an Alex Award from the American Library Association. It was a Los Angeles TimesBest Book of the Year, one of Glamour's three best books of the year by a new writer, one of School Library Journal's best adult books of the year for young adults, and a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Senna currently holds the Jenks Chair of Contemporary American Letters at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic information