cover image Surrender the Pink

Surrender the Pink

Carrie Fisher. Simon & Schuster, $18.45 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-66640-8

The tendency of Dinah Kaufman to blur the borders between her life and the soap opera scripts she pens is the central conceit of Fisher's ( Postcards From the Edge ) second novel. Two years after the breakup of her marriage to award-winning playwright Rudy Gendler, Dinah remains in limbo, not really wanting him back but lacking a satisfying stand-in. So, idled by a writers' strike, she tails Rudy and his current love, the compliant Lindsey, to the Hamptons. Dinah proves to be the prototypical ``new woman'' in her uncertainties and gender confusions; she finds it hard to relinquish the ``pink'' girlish fantasy that a man will indeed secure her happiness ever after. She knows she always seems to love men who later leave her, but understanding this and changing her life for the better pose two distinctly different challenges. Only after making a dismal attempt to conform to Rudy's expectations of her does Dinah finally--and literally--write him out of her life. Unlike Fisher's fragmented, rather brittle first book, this one allows readers to get close to the main character, with the result that smart, funny Dinah is also quite touching. Author tour; Literary Guild alternate; Doubleday book club alternate. (Sept.)