Serenissima: A Novel of Venice

Erica Jong, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $3.99 (225p) ISBN 978-0-395-42922-8
The author of Fear of Flying and Fanny utilizes her poetry, interwoven with that of Shakespeare, to convey the mutable, none-too-serene Venice in which this semi-fantastical novel is set. Arriving to judge the Venice film festival, movie star Jessica Pruitt carries the old weight of her mother's suicide and the recent loss of her only daughter in a custody battle. When the festival erupts in mayhem, possibly ruining her chance to star in a brilliant adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, she retreats into a fever that transports her back to the 16th century Jewish ghetto. There, as Shalach's daughter Jessica, she entrances a young Will Shakespeare traveling with his lover, Lord Southhampton. Although their romance and its perils are a grand showcase for Jong's novelistic skill, uneven, excessively florid prose and brittle interjections frequently disrupt the narrative, to jarring effect. 100,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild alternate; author tour. (April 23)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1989
Release date: 02/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-20104-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-930435-33-2
Hardcover - 215 pages - 978-0-7475-3157-9
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