Carey, Jacqueline 1954–
Carey, Jacqueline 1954–
PERSONAL: Born July 14, 1954, in Cambridge, MA; daughter of Robert J. and R.G. Carey; married Ian Frazier (a writer), October 9, 1983; children: Cora, Tomas. Education: Swarthmore College, B.A., 1977.
ADDRESSES: Home—318 Grove St., Montclair, NJ 07042. Agent—Andrew Wylie, Wylie, Aitken & Stone, Inc., 250 W. 57th St., Ste. 2106, New York, NY 10107.
CAREER: Freelance writer.
AWARDS, HONORS: Guggenheim fellowship.
Good Gossip (stories), Random House (New York, NY), 1992.
The Other Family (novel), Random House (New York, NY), 1996.
Wedding Pictures (novel), illustrated by Kathy Osborn, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1997.
The Crossley Baby (novel), Ballantine (New York, NY), 2003.
Contributor of articles and stories to magazines and newspapers, including Allure, Elle, New Yorker, New York Times, and Wigwag.
SIDELIGHTS: Jacqueline Carey's debut Good Gossip is a collection of stories focusing on characters who live in Manhattan, including Eileen, who became an overnight sensation as a playwright; Rosemary, a book-jacket designer who moves from one sublet apartment to another; and Susannah, an ex-bohemian who ended up with a dull suburban life. "Carey makes us care" about these people, even those who are not exactly sympathetic, according to Tim Appelo in Entertainment Weekly. He found the author's fiction to be somewhat short on plot but "beautifully written." A Publishers Weekly writer noted that the characters are torn between making lasting commitments or extending their more bohemian lifestyles. The author seems to enjoy debating "the sundry anxieties of being a grownup," remarked the reviewer.
Carey's first novel, The Other Family, is "smartly told, funny and deeply poignant," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. The novel is narrated by Joan, a fourteen-year-old girl who, along with her younger brother, is reunited with her mother, who abandoned them two years previously. Now divorced from their father, their mother tells the children they will spend the summer with her well-to-do sister, Iris. The illusion of perfection in Aunt Iris's family is shattered when her husband, Uncle Charles, runs off with Iris's best friend. Booklist contributor Joanne Wilkinson found the book full of "powerful scenes" and praised the author's depiction of Joan.
In Wedding Pictures, Carey and illustrator Kathy Osborn attempt to portray the magic and frustration involved in trying to plan a wedding. The lead characters, Kip and Bonnie, are young professionals who live in different cities; their jobs and the sacrifices involved in bringing their lives together are key to the story. Wedding Pictures is "part grown-up comic book, part wry nuptial guide," according to a Publishers Weekly writer.
The Crossley Baby tells the story of three New York sisters who embody the wide range of choices open to women of their generation and class. The narrative begins in the 1990s, tracing the lives of Sunny, a Harvard graduate who chooses to stay at home with her children; Jean, a driven career woman; and Bridget, a massage therapist who leads a more unconventional life. When Bridget, a single mother, dies unexpectedly, Jean and Sunny both want to take charge of the orphaned baby, Jade. Carey proves herself "an engaging and often funny writer," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor. Booklist reviewer Carol Haggas also praised Carey's skill in depicting her characters in a manner "both poignant and precise."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 1996, Joanne Wilkinson, review of The Other Family, p. 1880; May 15, 2003, Carol Haggas, review of The Crossley Baby, p. 1642.
Entertainment Weekly, March 27, 1992, Tim Appelo, review of Good Gossip, p. 70.
Kliatt, September, 2004, Nola Theiss, review of The Crossley Baby, p. 19.
Publishers Weekly, November 22, 1991, review of Good Gossip, p. 38; July 8, 1996, review of The Other Family, p. 74; May 5, 1997, review of Wedding Pictures, p. 196; June 16, 2003, review of The Crossley Baby, p. 50.
Jacqueline Carey's Home Page, http://therealjacquelinecarey.com (May 22, 2006).