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Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press
NEW!

My Nemesis

by Charmaine Craig

From the acclaimed author of Miss Burma, longlisted for the National Book Award and the Women’s Prize, comes a tense and thought-provoking exploration of an intellectual affair and its reverberations across the lives of two couples

  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Page Count 208
  • Publication Date February 07, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6071-3
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $26.00
  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Publication Date February 07, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6072-0
  • US List Price $26.00

Tessa is a successful white woman writer who develops a friendship, first by correspondence and then in person, with Charlie, a ruggedly handsome philosopher and scholar based in Los Angeles. Sparks fly as they exchange ideas about Camus and masculine desire, and their intellectual connection promises more—but there are obstacles to this burgeoning relationship.

While Tessa’s husband Milton enjoys Charlie’s company on his visits to the East Coast, Charlie’s mixed-race Asian wife Wah is a different case, and she proves to be both adversary and conundrum to Tessa. Wah’s traditional femininity and subservience to her husband strike Tessa as weaknesses, and she scoffs at the sacrifices Wah makes as adoptive mother to a Burmese girl, Htet, once homeless on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. But Wah has a kind of power too, especially over Charlie, and the conflict between the two women leads to Tessa’s martini-fueled declaration that Wah is “an insult to womankind.” As Tessa is forced to deal with the consequences of her outburst and considers how much she is limited by her own perceptions, she wonders if Wah is really as weak as she has seemed, or if she might have a different kind of strength altogether.

An exercise in empathy, an exploration of betrayal, and a charged story of the thrill of a shared connection—and the perils of feminine rivalry—My Nemesis is a brilliantly dramatic and captivating story from a hugely talented writer whose portrayals are always gracefully phrased and keenly observed.

Praise for My Nemesis:

“I devoured this sly, seething novel. So marvelously perceptive, so effortlessly elegant, it lays bare the horror of what husbands and wives expect of each other. My Nemesis is a pearl cultivated in justified rage. I loved it.”—Sarah Manguso, author of Very Cold People

Praise for Miss Burma:

“A timely exposition of trust after trauma . . .  In reimagining the extraordinary lives of her mother and grandparents, Craig produces some passages of exquisitely precise description . . . Brings one of Burma’s many lost histories to vivid life.”—New York Times Book Review

“This multigenerational saga portrays the emergence of modern Burma—through British colonialism, wartime occupation by the Japanese, and the independence era . . . Craig ably controls the novel’s historic sweep, and is unsparing in providing details of meticulous torture and wartime horror. She also conveys a strong sense of family.”—New Yorker (Briefly Noted)

Miss Burma charts both a political history and a deeply personal one—and of those incendiary moments when private and public motivations overlap.”—Los Angeles Times

“An epic roman à clef . . . Masterfully renders the human condition in matters micro and vast . . . Like many of the best books, Miss Burma feels rooted in its time and place, while also laying bare timeless questions of loyalty, infidelity, patriotism, and identity—not to mention the globally perpetuated unfair treatment of women.”—Elle

“[A] riveting account of the treacheries, fractures, and courageous acts of wartime.”—BBC (Ten Books to Read in May)

“Craig expects a good deal of her audience in terms of their appetite for Burmese history, and I hope that many will rise to the occasion, because the rewards are rich . . . A courageous attempt to broaden the way we see others and ourselves, both personally and politically, at home and abroad.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“A gorgeously-written novel that illuminates the universalities of fear and the desires for dignity and freedom.”—Literary Hub

“A story of how modern-day Burma came to be, as well as the tale of one of the most violent and turbulent eras in world history played out. At once beautiful and heartbreaking . . . An incredible family saga.”—Refinery29

“Ambitious . . . Miss Burma is powerful in showing the relentless effect of the political on the personal while covering an important swath of history—and all the while telling an awfully good story.”—Christian Science Monitor

“Rich and layered, a complex weaving of national and personal trauma . . . Craig has written a captivating second novel that skillfully moves from moments of quiet intimacy and introspection to passages portraying the swift evolution of political events as multiple groups and nations vie for control of Burma’s future. Mesmerizing and haunting.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[A] tale of love and disenchantment, loyalty and resentment, recognition and isolation . . . Based on real lives, Craig’s historical novel challenges our assumptions about everything from beauty queens to rebels and reminds us that the course of a nation’s history is often determined by the fallibility of individuals.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Spanning generations and multiple dictators, Craig’s epic novel provides a rich, complex account of Burma and its place within the larger geopolitical theater . . . The language and the images unfold with grace, horror, and intimacy.”—Publishers Weekly

“[An] epic new novel . . . distinctive for its representation of a voice not often documented in history. Craig vividly illustrates the intertwining of the political and the personal.”—Library Journal

“Charmaine Craig wields powerful and vivid prose to illuminate a country and a family trapped not only by war and revolution, but also by desire and loss. Both epic and intimate, Miss Burma is a compelling and disturbing trip through Burmese history and politics.”—Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer

“A sweeping novel of Burma and its complicated history, told from the perspective of people whose voices have been systematically erased from the official record. Charmaine Craig writes about war and exile with an exquisite mix of tenderness and intelligence. A brilliant book.”—Laila Lalami, author of The Moor’s Account

Miss Burma is a riveting portrayal of human resourcefulness and heroism, and of their inadequacy before the great cataclysms of history. This engrossing novel movingly affirms—in its characters, but also in the elegance and fineness of its craft—the perseverance of dignity in the face of our helplessness.”—Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

Miss Burma is a book which resonates with meaning, of how we are all actors in our histories and the histories of our nations, it disrupts our settled sense that the past is the past, and shows how it reaches forward to touch the future. It is a powerful, moving and important novel.”—Aminatta Forna, author of The Hired Man

“In beautiful and evocative prose, Miss Burma reminds us of the many ways that war and political repression can scar generations. Yet the real wonder of this powerful book rests in its strong belief that love and determination—and even loss—can help illuminate a path out of the darkest moments. A gem of a novel.”—Maaza Mengiste, author of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze