Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Envy

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A Novel

by Kathryn Harrison

Envy by Kathryn Harrison X
Envy by Kathryn Harrison
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2005, 320 pages
    Jul 2006, 320 pages

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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 have dealt with emotional turmoils of one type or another, a couple of which have been set in the past, including The Binding Chair.

This article was originally published in July 2005, and has been updated for the July 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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