Will has a good sex life with the woman he married. So why then is he
increasingly plagued by violent erotic fantasies that, were they to break out of
his imagination and into the real world, have the power to destroy not only his
family but his career? He's about to lose his grip when he attends a college
reunion and there discovers evidence of a past sexual betrayal, one serious
enough that it threatens to overpower the present, even as it offers a key to
Will's dangerous obsessions.
Hypnotic, beautifully written, this mesmerizing novel by "an extremely gifted
writer" (San Francisco Chronicle) explores the corrosive effect of eviland how
painful psychological truths long buried within a family can corrupt the present
and, through courage and understanding, lead to healing and renewal. "Like Scheherezade in the grip of a fever dream, Kathryn Harrison . . . has written
one of those rare books, in language of unparalleled beauty, that affirm the
holiness of life," said Shirley Ann Grau, about Poison. And the same can
be said about Envy.
Envy was a disappointment after The Binding Chair. Call me middle-aged but there are just so many subjects that I find more interesting than other people's sexual fantasies. However, I can see that Envy would be of appeal to many. As always, we provide an excerpt so that you can browse the book for yourself and decide if it's right for you. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The Washington Post
Writers and critics who complain of the shrinking audience for literary fiction argue -- validly -- that huge advances and advertising budgets for blockbusters reduce the resources left to promote serious novels. But the chances of good literary fiction finding an audience are also damaged when books such as Kathryn Harrison's Envy are published and passed off as worthy. Ten pages of Envy are enough to make you yearn for the juiciest trash novel you can find; 50 will have you dreaming of box-top recipes, road maps, computer instructions -- anything with a purpose.
Harrison's measured, matter-of-fact prose gives each perverse twist of her pulpish plot a nasty kick, taking readers into the heart of Will's deep sadness and out the other side. An unsparing examination of the turbulent depths beneath anunsuspecting hero's most unexceptionable-seeming fantasies, and a life patently too normal to be true.
Starred Review. Will's profession as an analyst seems too convenient - allowing Harrison to analyze her own novel through the voice of her main character - but this is a pardonable flaw in a book so juicy and intelligent.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Harrison's dialogue is electrifying, the sophistication of her psychology is mesmerizing, and her characters, so astutely drawn, are bewitching.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Eddiebloue Bored to death By an author who is capable of writing literature, this "book" is a self-serving journey into the field of psychiatry and I, for one, have never had much use for psycho-babble.
Aside from that, it appears that the author is obsessed by... Read More
Can a book
have substantial sexual content
and still be considered
literary? When it's written by
Kathryn Harrison, some say the
answer is yes, others say not on
your life! She is the author of
7 novels and 5 non-fiction
books, including her memoirs,
The Kiss (1997), in which
she describes her four year
affair with her estranged father
which began when she was 20, and
The Mother Knot (2004),
in which she goes back to her
childhood with a dysfunctional
mother and grandmother, and
absent father. Her first novel,
Thicker Than Water, was
published in 1991 and
unsurprisingly (with the benefit
of hindsight) dealt with a
dysfunctional family and the
enduring psychic damage
inflicted on a child. The novels
that followed this...
Writer hired for fourth Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book(Dec 18 2013) The Swedish publisher of the late Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, has hired David Lagercrantz write a fourth novel which is...