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Woman with a Blue Pencil
Woman with a Blue Pencil: A Novel | Gordon McAlpine
4 posts | 3 read | 5 to read
Woman with a Blue Pencil is a brilliantly structured labyrinth of a novelsomething of an enigma wrapped in a mystery, postmodernist in its experimental bravado and yet satisfyingly well-grounded in the Los Angeles of its World War II era. Gordon McAlpine has imagined a totally unique work of mystery fictionone that Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov, as well as Dashiell Hammett, would have appreciated. JOYCE CAROL OATES What becomes of a character cut from a writers working manuscript? On the eve of Pearl Harbor, Sam Sumida, a Japanese-American academic, has been thrust into the role of amateur P.I., investigating his wifes murder, which has been largely ignored by the LAPD. Grief stricken by her loss, disoriented by his ill-prepared change of occupation, the worst is yet to come, Sam discovers that, inexplicably, he has become not only unrecognizable to his former acquaintances but that all signs of his existence (including even the murder hes investigating) have been erased. Unaware that he is a discarded, fictional creation, he resumes his investigation in a world now characterized not only by his own sense of isolation but by wartime fear. Meantime, Sams story is interspersed with chapters from a pulp spy novel that features an L.A.-based Korean P.I. with jingoistic and anti-Japanese, post December 7th attitudes the revised, politically and commercially viable character for whom Sumida has been excised. Behind it all is the ambitious, 20-year-old Nisei author who has made the changes, despite the relocation of himself and his family to a Japanese internment camp. And, looming above, is his book editor in New York, who serves as both muse and manipulator to the young authorthe woman with the blue pencil, a new kind of femme fatale. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Blueberry
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1. Gordon Alpine
2. Woman with a Blue Pencil

#Two4Tuesday
@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Excellent choice! Thanks for playing 2mo
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Blueberry
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Andrew65 Thanks for playing long, a great way to review 2023. See you for #12Booksof2024 on Christmas Day. 7mo
TheSpineView Fantastic! 6mo
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MaureenMc
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Pickpick

Interesting novel that combines three stories: a novel with a Nisei protagonist trying to find his wife's killer in 1941 LA, a spy thriller with a Korean hero trying to assassinate the head of a Japanese crime ring in early 1942 LA, and the novelist's story. It's twisty and turny while addressing themes of racism and identity. Highly recommend this one!

Smrloomis That sounds great! Adding that to my #TBR 8y
MrBook Sounds interesting. I like the cover. 8y
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MaureenMc
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Got this one on a recommendation from a bookseller at Rainy Day Books in Kansas City. Anyone else read it?

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