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The Correspondence Artist Paperback – March 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Browning toys with form in her quirky debut, an epistolary love story that, despite a few misfires—the images, for instance, sprinkled throughout feel like unfortunate clip art—should hook readers whose tastes run to the unconventional. The narrator, Vivian, recounts via e-mails her love affair with an artist, who, at different times in the book is an Israeli novelist, a Vietnamese multimedia artist, a Basque poet, and a Malian musician. The narrator creates these characters ostensibly to protect the privacy of her famous lover, and her accounts of her affair vary slightly with each incarnation to reveal incrementally the personality of her "true" paramour and build toward different versions of a betrayal—Vivian's kidnapping by Basque anarchists, a run-in with a Lycra-clad Medusa. Though the story sometimes becomes mired too deeply in its own concept, Browning relentlessly explores her theme of love's many faces, giving readers a rewardingly offbeat novel that's by turns sexy, humorous, and insightful. (Mar.)
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"[Browning's] mysterious romance... capably relays the sensation of [a] perilously ambiguous world... [The narrator is] so offhandedly intelligent and well-read that it makes the book a pleasure to read." --bookslut.com
"Jam-packed with cultural references and lubricated body parts... in a fiction that merges with cultural theory. This is mail worth rifling through." --fanzine.com
"[The Correspondence Artist is] a deft look at modern life that's both witty and devastating." --Nylon Magazine
"The book... is wrapped up in powerful feelings of disconnect, confusion, and sexual need... Browning expertly filters critical moments through each imagined lover." --washingtoncitypaper.com
"Ruthless confidence and powerful restraint reminiscent of D.H. Lawrence or Toni Morrison--two of the sexiest writers of the last century... a smartly complex and surprising work of art... a triumph of a debut."
--KGB Bar & Lit Journal