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In the Cut
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About the Author

Susanna Moore is the author of the novels The Big Girls, One Last Look, In the Cut, Sleeping Beauties, The Whiteness of Bones, My Old Sweetheart, and a book of nonfiction, I Myself Have Seen It. She lives in New York City.

Reviews

Several stunning shocks await Moore's longtime readers in her fourth novel. First, there is the change of genre and locale. Her previous books (My Old Sweetheart; The Whiteness of Bones) have been lush, sensitive explorations of coming of age in a dysfunctional family in Hawaii, in an atmosphere permeated by island spirits and traditions. Here, Moore has honed her prose with knife-like precision to construct an edgy, intense, erotic thriller set in bohemian Manhattan. Her protagonist and narrator, Franny, is a divorced NYU professor deliberately closed off from emotional entanglements. She teaches a class for ghetto youth, meanwhile pursuing her obsession with language; she is writing a book recording the street vernacular and the black lingo of New York's seedier neighborhoods. Though on the surface her life seems circumscribed, she is a woman who takes risks, especially sexual risks. One night, she observes a man with a tattoo on his wrist in an act of sexual congress; though she does not see his face, she remembers the red-haired woman who had performed fellatio when she becomes a murder victim. Questioned as a possible witness by homicide detectives James Mallory and his partner Richard Rodriguez, she enjoys the frisson of danger when she takes Mallory as a lover, in spite of the fact that his wrist bears the same tattoo as that of the probable killer. The predatory, slightly corrupt Mallory is a coolly skillful lover, forcing Franny to push beyond sexual barriers into areas she has never explored. But in testing those erotic boundaries, she puts herself in mortal danger. Moore's control of her material is impressive: as she sweeps toward a knockout ending, she employs the gritty vernacular, red-herring clues and cold-blooded brutality of a bona-fide thriller without sacrificing the integrity of her narrative. The question is: will readers be disturbed‘and perhaps repelled by‘explicit descriptions of sexual acts, scatological language and gruesome violence? 100,000 first printing. (Nov.)

Billed as an "erotic thriller," Moore's (Sleeping Beauties, LJ 9/1/93) latest is erotic, but it's certainly no thriller. The heroine is an English teacher who muses endlessly on the meanings of language, even at times when she should be experiencing intense emotion. She witnesses an event that leads to a grisly murder and becomes sexually involved with the cop investigating the case. Her closest friend, with whom she discusses sexual experiences in detail, is viciously murdered and mutilated by the same killer, and she herself falls victim, an interesting trick in a story told in the first person. Not only is the heroine distanced by language from her emotions, but so is the reader. Not recommended, although Moore has a following and larger collections may want to have a copy.‘Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia.

"A ferociously uninhibited erotic thriller!" -The New York Times Book Review"An erotic thriller capable of inducing nightmares and guaranteed to shock even hard boiled readers. . . . Susanna Moore is a master." -The Miami Herald"Taps into the deep well of female obsession. . . . Builds an atmosphere of thick sexual tension, and arranges for its explosive release." -The New Yorker"A remarkable novel that is erotic, intelligent, and daring." -Vanity Fair"Brilliant. . . . A story that goes deliberately too far . . . climaxing in one of the most authentically shocking endings in recent fiction." -San Francisco Chronicle

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