Mrs. Caliban

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Product Details
$13.95  $12.97
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
5.1 X 7.8 X 0.5 inches | 0.31 pounds

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About the Author

Rachel Ingalls has lived in London since 1965. Theft, her literary debut, won the 1970 Authors' Club First Novel Award. Her 1982 novel, Mrs. Caliban, was named one of the twenty greatest American novels since World War II by the British Book Marketing Council. She is the author of fourteen novels and short story collections, including Times Like These, Binstead's Safari, and I See a Long Journey.

Rivka Galchen received her MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, having spent a year in South America working on public health issues. Galchen completed her MFA at Columbia University, where she was a Robert Bingham Fellow. Her essay on the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics was published in The Believer, and she is the recipient of a 2006 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. Galchen lives in New York City. She is the author of the novel Atmospheric Disturbances.
A perfect novel.--Rivka Galchen
It's not just Disney that can ruminate on romance between a beauty and a beast. In this reissue of Rachel Ingalls' 1982 novel, housewife Dorothy hears on the radio that a potentially dangerous monster has just escaped a research facility. But when the creature walks through her door, he awakens something new in her. This is our pick for feminist social satire that's deliciously weird.--Estelle Tang"27 Best New Fall Books" (08/21/2017)
The love story is a delight, the social commentary sharp, the writing funny and fun--and yet the sorrow, even bitterness, at the core of this book about our perfidious species is inescapable and profound.
Ms. Ingalls is an experienced writer of novels and stories, and her perfor-mances are immensely skillful, reminiscent of the best film thrillers.--Ursula K. Le Guin
A masterpiece and totally off the wall.
Every volume Rachel Ingalls has written displays the craft of a quite remarkable talent. Tales of love, terror, betrayal and grief, which others would spin out for hundreds of pages, are given the occluded force of poetry.
In her best work, Ingalls is as monochromatic as Edgar Allan Poe, going straight to her target with the same ease and surety as an arrow skims to its bull's-eye... And just as Poe's craft was exactly suited to the conventions of the short story form, so Ingalls' vision is exactly suited to the length and scope of the novella... Like Poe, Rachel Ingalls is more than a master storyteller: She is also a superb artist.
Rachel Ingalls has created a tight, intriguing portrait of a woman's escape from unacceptable reality and presented an account of derangement so matter-of- fact, so ordinary and at the same time so bizarre, that through her words we experience new insight.
By marrying domestic realism with the literature of the bizarre, Ingalls brings tenderness to the monstrous and renders the recognizable utterly weird. Compact yet capacious, the novel wonders at all the ways we can desire and destroy one another. It's unabashedly campy and deadly serious; it dares the reader to admit that these aims are not at all at odds.
A love affair with a 6-foot-7-inch amphibian might not be every woman's fantasy, but for Dorothy--the lonely housewife at the center of this soon-to-be-reissued 1982 novel--it's working out just fine. A short, funny, bizarre novel that's worth your time.
[A] slim surrealist masterpiece.
Indeed, as a feminist piece with a deep romantic core, that might best explain Mrs. Caliban's ability to emerge as an unlikely literary classic. There's the sheer entertainment factor -- steamy Aquaman sex, anyone?--but then just underneath is a real depth, a quiet brilliance in its study of behavior and circumstance. It cuts through the noise, enlightening while also resonating, soothing in its dreamy surrealism. And isn't that the perfect recipe for an enduring classic?-- (01/26/2018)
Thirty-five years old, it is fresher than most things written yesterday. I wish I could say that I have always known about it. Instead I confess to the zeal of a new convert. Every one of its 125 pages is perfect, original, and arresting. Clear a Saturday, please, and read it in a single sitting.-- (12/01/2017)
Perhaps Ingalls's finest accomplishment in the novel is the unflappable gentleness of her tone, which records supernatural surprise and flaming horror simply, almost tranquilly. The result is paradoxically quotidian and dreamlike, like a fable or folktale.-- (11/28/2017)
[A] peculiar but wonderful and long-overlooked novella...-- (12/03/2017)
Imagine if Muriel Spark wrote science fiction and you'll get close to what this book feels like: a triumph of tone, a tale of loneliness upended.--John Freeman (07/27/2018)
Thirty-five years old and it still outpaces, out-weirds, and out-romances anything written today.--Marlon James"Celebrity Picks: Marlon James's Favorite Reads of 2018" (12/07/2018)
Mrs. Caliban is one of my favorite novels in the world.-- (08/21/2017)
Mrs. Caliban has the melancholy, bittersweet air of a romance that has come to no significant resolution--Joyce Carol Oates
Ingalls writes fables whose unadorned sentences belie their irreducible strangeness.--Lidija Haas"The Hallucinatory Realism of Rachel Ingalls" (03/04/2019)