STOLEN GOODS by Susan Dworkin


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From the author of the film studies Making Tootsie (1983) and Double De Palma (1984), a first novel about a woman trying to make it in a man's world--and succeeding on her own terms. When Anna Karavagian was 22, she lost her fiancÉ in a car crash (he was on his way to New Jersey to marry her) and sank into a deep depression that even her boisterous Armenian family couldn't pull her out of. For years--in fact, until she was 37--she taught grade-school math at a dreary school in the Bronx and had minor love affairs with men she was merely fond of. Now when she finally bestirs herself, though, she does do with a vengeance: her father retires from the family printing business in lower Manhattan, and Anna rolls up her sleeves and wades right in, fighting off jealous competitors and even saboteurs to bring the company into the modern world. She also really fails in love with a Vietnam vet/playwright named Charles Borden III, a New England literature teacher who is finally starting to get recognition for his writing. Anna's problems begin when she realizes she has to turn down a kickback scheme concocted by a bank officer who is in a position to bring her company a lot of business. Not only that, but she realizes her beloved Charles has stolen ideas from a ""novel"" written by Crazy Rex, a street person, and will be turning them into a lucrative sitcom. In the end, however, Anna emerges triumphant as she successfully resists the bribery attempt and threatens to leave Charles until he cuts Crazy Rex in on the deal. The rather heavy-handed rush of integrity at the close never sits well on the shoulders of Anna (an oddly distanced woman the reader never comes to know well); the rest, though fairly standard, is an intelligent portrait of a woman's coming of age.

Pub Date: July 6th, 1987
Publisher: Newmarket--dist. by Harper & Row