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February: “My Nemesis” – Charmaine Craig

My Nemesis by Charmaine Craig

Our February 2023 Book of the Month

ABOUT THE BOOK

Tessa is a successful writer who develops a friendship, first by correspondence and then in person, with Charlie, a ruggedly handsome philosopher and scholar based in Los Angeles. Sparks fly as they exchange ideas about Camus and masculine desire, and their intellectual connection promises more — but there are obstacles to this burgeoning relationship.

While Tessa’s husband Milton enjoys Charlie’s company on his visits to the East Coast, Charlie’s wife Wah is a different case, and she proves to be both adversary and conundrum to Tessa. Wah’s traditional femininity and subservience to her husband strike Tessa as weaknesses, and she scoffs at the sacrifices Wah makes as adoptive mother to a Burmese girl, Htet, once homeless on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. But Wah has a kind of power too, especially over Charlie, and the conflict between the two women leads to a martini-fueled declaration by Tessa that Wah is “an insult to womankind.” As Tessa is forced to deal with the consequences of her outburst and considers how much she is limited by her own perceptions, she wonders if Wah is really as weak as she has seemed, or if she might have a different kind of strength altogether.

Compassionate and thought-provoking, My Nemesis is a brilliant story of seduction, envy, and the ways we publicly define and privately deceive ourselves today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charmaine Craig is the author of the novels My Nemesis, forthcoming from Grove Press in February 2023; Miss Burma, longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction; and The Good Men, a national bestseller. Her writing has been published in a dozen languages and appeared in venues including The New York Times Magazine, Narrative Magazine, AFAR Magazine, and Dissent. Formerly an actor in film and television, she studied literature at Harvard College, received her MFA from the University of California at Irvine, and serves as a faculty member in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside. She lives in Los Angeles.

BEYOND THE BOOK

 

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