Picture of author.

Carolyn See (1934–2016)

Autor(a) de Making a Literary Life

11+ Works 1,082 Membros 21 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Carolyn See was born Carolyn Penelope Laws in Pasadena, California on January 13, 1934. She received a bachelor's degree from California State University Los Angeles in 1957 and a doctorate in English from UCLA in 1962. She taught creative writing classes at Loyola Marymount University and at UCLA. mostrar mais Before she retired in 2004, she created a $100,000 endowment at UCLA, for the study of Southern California literature. She was also a regular book critic at the L.A. Times and the Washington Post She wrote more than a dozen books including the novels Rhine Maidens, Golden Days, and There Will Never Be Another You. With John Espey and Lisa See, she co-wrote two novels under the pseudonym Monica Highland: Lotus Land and 110 Shanghai Road. They also wrote a nonfiction book about vintage postcards entitled Greetings from Southern California. In 1995, See wrote a memoir entitled Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America. She also wrote a guidebook for beginning writers entitled Making a Literary Life. She received the L.A. Times Book Prize's Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement in 1993. She died of cancer on July 13, 2016 at the age of 82. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Disambiguation Notice:

(eng) Carolyn See collaborated with her companion John Espey and her daughter Lisa See to write several novels, published under the pseudonym Monica Highland.

Image credit: Bipedalist

Obras de Carolyn See

Making a Literary Life (2002) 478 cópias, 8 resenhas
The Handyman (1999) 151 cópias, 4 resenhas
Golden Days (1987) 133 cópias, 3 resenhas
Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America (1995) 102 cópias, 1 resenha
There Will Never Be Another You (2006) 81 cópias, 2 resenhas
Making History (1992) 69 cópias, 2 resenhas
Rhine Maidens (1981) 28 cópias, 1 resenha
Mothers, Daughters (1977) 12 cópias

Associated Works

Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives (2009) — Contribuinte — 67 cópias, 2 resenhas
My California: Journeys By Great Writers (2004) — Contribuinte — 56 cópias
The California Pop-Up Book (2001) — Contribuinte — 28 cópias, 1 resenha
A Few Thousand Words About Love (1998) — Contribuinte — 22 cópias
An Introduction To: The Joy Luck Club (2006) — Contribuinte — 4 cópias
California Fiction: The Reader [Fall 1996] (1996) — Contribuinte — 1 exemplar(es)


Conhecimento Comum

Nome de batismo
Laws, Carolyn Penelope (birth)
Outros nomes
Highland, Monica (pseudonym)
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Pasadena, California, USA
Local de falecimento
Santa Monica, California, USA
Causa da morte
congestive heart failure
Locais de residência
Topanga Canyon, California, USA
University of California, Los Angeles (Ph.D|1962)
California State University, Los Angeles (BA|1957)
professor emerita (English)
book reviewer
See, Lisa (daughter)
Espey, John Jenkins (companion)
Loyola Marymount University
The Washington Post
University of California, Los Angeles
Robert Kirsch Award (1993)
Guggenheim Fellowship
Aviso de desambiguação
Carolyn See collaborated with her companion John Espey and her daughter Lisa See to write several novels, published under the pseudonym Monica Highland.



Her eyes were wide. She gazed at me with terrific concentration. "Yes, she said, "I understand what you are saying. I get it. But isn't it true--that your fear of nuclear war is a metaphor for all the other fears that plague us today?"
My mind had never been exactly fine. But sometimes it has been good. "No," I said. I may have shouted it out through the beautiful, sheltered room. "It's my view that the other fears, all those of which we have spoken, are a metaphor for my fear of nuclear war."

The threat of nuclear annihilation seems in some ways a memory of a by-gone era. Back in the eighties, and especially in California we lived in the shadow of our many Air Bases that could go on alert at any time. At some point you just had to stop thinking about it. I suppose in some ways it is still very much there and real, but it seems much less in our faces than global warming or terrorist attacks or even just a gunman showing up one day. Or maybe those fears have just replaced that one.

This book is in some ways very strange. In the first 85% of the book our heroine is a divorced single mom making her way through a man's world in the California lifestyle of the eighties. She takes husbands and lovers, raises two daughters, creates a bank and teaches wealthy housewives how to invest and create their own wealth. She sees all the craziness of California excess and success in the form of pseudo religion and success gurus. We learn her views on men and feminism. We meet her best friend who eventually becomes one of those success hucksters. Carolyn See captures California wonderfully.

And then BOOM. 85% of the way in--the world ends.

Very unsettling book but the prose is wonderful. I hope the author Carolyn See was able to exorcise some of her own fears in this writing exercise.

I learned about this book from an article in the Guardian on Reading American cities: books about Los Angeles. It is also a part of a series of reprints from the University of California Press on California Fiction. All of the books included in the series have been selected for "their literary merit and their illumination of California history and culture."

… (mais)
auldhouse | outras 2 resenhas | Sep 30, 2021 |
I'm making my way through Carolyn See's books (this is my fourth) and I hope I can persuade others to discover her.

The best way to read the Handyman is to read the front section first--which is a fictional grant proposal written about an artist of cultural significance in the future. Then the book switches to the first person narrative of the young man who will become the artist. He lands in Paris to study art, but then immediately packs it all in and heads back to his home in Southern California. He picks up work as a handyman for the summer while waiting to return to school. He isn't the best handyman but he is good at fixing the lives of the people and families he encounters doing his work. He also discovers his own style of art as he works through the summer.

You might be tempted to go back and read the front section again while reading the main narrative, but my advice is don't do that. Wait until you've finished the book, and THEN go back and read the grant proposal. I did that and found the prologue to be delightful.

Pick up this book if you enjoy art, reading about California, and can enjoy the ways in which See can take a trope (young Handyman encountering housewives) and can bend the theme and make it something deeper. I can almost see Carolyn See winking at her editor and agent as she proposes a book with this title.
… (mais)
auldhouse | outras 3 resenhas | Sep 30, 2021 |
One of the best books I've read on the literary life. Carolyn See brings her robust humor and decades of experience to the pages, offering practical wisdom at every turn. I ended up copying down several quotes and notes to help me remember her useful tips. And have been following her counsel to write 1000 words a day. Every day. Highly recommended!
AnaraGuard | outras 7 resenhas | Nov 1, 2020 |
Edith Langley, the narrator in Carolyn See’s novel, Golden Days, has a golden-girl enthusiasm that can make her believe. She’s also a ready-to-judge-you citizen of Los Angeles, President of the Woman’s Bank, and a satirical, sardonic, and sarcastic observer of everything around her. It all comes in handy when apocalypse is a-coming.

Our sphere of influence here—the City of Angels 1970s-1980s la-la land sphere (it’s sure not South Central)—is one where guru-led semi-spiritual seminars on getting one’s desires turn out to supply miracles of a sort for believers by teaching them “outflowing” and “sourcing.” Is it ersatz faith or the real thing? Whatever could the difference be if that act of believing is the act that saves? It’s Paradise, baby! Though it won’t be forever.

See’s energy, sense of humor, intelligence, and skill propel her characters through the rituals of life to reach what will come—a nuclear “End of Days” that man* has created, and if some of them come out of it alive they do so with reason to believe that despite the fears and horrors it is a good thing indeed—the “Light Ages,” she calls it. The paperback I read has a cover illustration showing a mushroom cloud exploding out of a champagne bottle, a perfect image for the book. As Edith remarks, in the long lead-in to catastrophe, “all of us, even then, never gave up our faith in a good party.”

You see, if apocalypse is to happen, the thought that there might be survivors matters. And if that is true then the idea that there must also be “Golden Days” to discover or create will be what saves the survivors. In these contemplations of the un-contemplatable, Carolyn See has written an original and fun tale to give her ideas air.

* Edith, venting her frustration with men’s warring ways, exclaims, “Who did think up [poison] gas…It must have been a guy…Why don’t we know his name? Do men know his name, just like they always know the name of the new Dodgers shortstop?”
She deserves an answer: Yeah, I know. Fritz Haber’s the dude. And the Dodgers shortstop? Yeah, I know that too. This information would not, of course, conciliate her at all.
… (mais)
dypaloh | outras 2 resenhas | Oct 24, 2018 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by
½ 3.7

Tabelas & Gráficos