by Suzy McKee Charnas
When her old friend, Ricky Maulders, who is dying of cancer, visits artist Dorothea Howard, he discovers she's being held captive by the magical power of one of her own creations that she refuses to let go of, and haunted by the ghost of a judge in post-Revolution France. Dorothea insists that all she wants is to be left alone. But then three Chicano teens on the run from the police and a gaggle of summer-school students violently enter Dorothea's life, and she's confronted with all the messy stuff (like "politics") she's always sought to avoid.
In an interview (here), Suzy McKee Charnas discusses Dorothea Dreams and fiction writing.
Praise for Dorothea Dreams
For me, Dorothea Dreams is the most purely beautiful of [Suzy McKee
Charnas's] novels. It is certainly the one that speaks most directly to my
own fears and obsessions. When I read it, I am proud to be a woman, proud
to be an artist, even proud to be asthmatic and mortal and fallible,
because they're all part of being human. And that's what art and literature
are about, aren't they? The glory and shame of the human condition.
It's an intimate book, a book to savour privately. [Suzy McKee Charnas]
has a high-burning talent.
In vivid, pungent scenes from a range of viewpoints, spiced with just a
hint of the fantastic, Charnas reveals the confusion and splendor of
It is not the structure of the novel that impresses most, but the
characterizations and thematic richness [Dorothea] is a magnificent
creation, fully realized; a middle-aged artist with enough dormant strength
to sustain three people.
The plot in Dorothea Dreams starts slowly and explodes like the dreams
that shake Dorothea from her sleep with visions of the French Revolution
and blood-thirsty crowds.
ISBN: 978-1-933500-39-3 (13 digit)