1. Dear John,

    I loved this review of A Woman earlier this year; I must thank you for recommending such a fine, many-layered lens on womanhood. You wrote that it “seeks to be both individual and universal”, in part through the telescoping of generations of women. I have written a novel which seeks something similar, by describing a love affair between a sex doll and a man—a sex doll is universal because it is an abstraction of female beauty, and composite because she represents, to her owner, all the women he has known and desired before.

    Doll comes out on January 28. The dustjacket describes it further:

    “DOLL is an astonishing piece of writing. Its ingenuity, and intelligence, and strangeness, and indeed beauty, carry for me a Nabokov originality, and that is a high matching indeed. I have absolutely no doubt this is best seller material.”

    — TIM WATERSTONE, novelist and founder of Waterstones

    “DOLL’s voice is so strange and beautiful and funny and endearing and heartbreaking—whilst constituting a remarkable meditation on consciousness and the body.”

    — KATHRYN DAVIS, author of DUPLEX, Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the Lannan Literary Award

    I hope that your sympathy for A Woman’s ruminative beauty will find you sympathetic to Doll, and that you will consider reviewing it or featuring an interview in your pages. At a moment when debate over gender and identity is increasingly fraught I wrote the book to afford a provocative new perspective on love and objectification; I hoped in writing it that an imitation might show us more about the real thing than the thing itself; the relationship between a man and a not-quite-woman might tell us more about what it means to be either. I’ve attached the press release with more information.

    Please permit me to send you an advance copy.

    Hopefully yours,


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