A long weekend, and no page-turner in sight. Luckily, Carry The Dog by Stephanie Gangi arrived in my mailbox. Gangi’s debut novel, The Next, was fiercely funny; while this one’s not a comedy, it is every bit as fierce.
At almost 60, Manhattanite Bea Marx lives with an icy legacy: her mother, Miriam, took erotic pictures of her kids (the “Marx Nudes) and then killed herself after the death of Bea’s teenaged brother. Now, Bea’s life seems on hold: she’s even married the same philandering man twice. She’s obsessed with how things look (like wrinkles and Balenciaga bags) but she fails to see people realistically; she’s locked herself out. When Hollywood and MOMA come knocking for Miriam’s story, Bea starts to confront childhood truths. She finds layers and layers to unwrap, each progressively darker. But Gangi’s not after the darkness: this is a story of possibilities.
I disagreed, on many levels, with Bea’s final decision. But I am still thinking about it. That is a lot for one book to accomplish.
Carry the Dog by Stephanie Gangi. Algonquin Books, November 2021.
Reviewer bio: Carla Sarett’s novella about maverick female artists, The Looking Glass, was published by Propertius Press in October, 2021.
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