Karasyov, Carrie 1972- (Carrie Doyle Karasyov)
Karasyov, Carrie 1972- (Carrie Doyle Karasyov)
Born 1972, in New York, NY; married; husband's name Vasily; children: two sons. Education: Graduated from Barnard College, 1994.
Home—New York, NY.
Writer, journalist. Harper's Bazaar (magazine), staff member in New York, NY, and Moscow, Russia, beginning 1994; Marie Claire magazine (Russian edition), founding editor-in-chief.
(With Jill Kargman) The Right Address, Broadway Books (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Jill Kargman) Wolves in Chic Clothing, Broadway Books (New York, NY), 2005.
(With Jill Kargman) Bittersweet Sixteen, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.
The Infidelity Pact, Broadway Books (New York, NY), 2007.
(With Jill Kargman) Summer Intern, HarperTeen (New York, NY), 2007.
Also author, with Jill Kargman, of screenplay Bittersweet 16. Author and producer, with Jill Kargman, of film Intern; adaptor, with Jill Kargman, of Auntie Claus, for Nickelodeon.
Carrie Karasyov and her collaborator, Jill Kargman, were both raised on New York City's prestigious Upper East Side. Their insights into life in that exclusive world inform their novels, including The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing, and Karasyov has also published a solo novel, The Infidelity Pact, along with young adult works written with Kargman, such as Bittersweet Sixteen and Summer Intern.
Karasyov and Kargman attended the same private schools and, after graduation, worked together on some screenplays. In The Right Address, they present a comic tale of Melanie Korn, a social-climbing airline stewardess who marries an elderly billionaire whose fortune was made in the funeral business. Though her marriage brings her all the trappings of the upper-crust life, Melanie finds acceptance into high society elusive, despite her best efforts to win the approval of the old-money set. Melanie seeks advice from one of her servants on how to handle herself, as she goes to the right charity balls, lunches and gossips at the most fashionable spots, and spends lavishly on shopping sprees. The plot is "predictable," according to People reviewer Allison Lynn, and the dialogue sometimes "awkward…. Yet even with these flaws, it's impossible to resist the charms of this modern Manhattan fairy tale." In an interview for the Random House Web site, the authors remarked: "There are several buildings in Manhattan that are considered the most exclusive and prestigious addresses in New York City. The New York newspapers are constantly covering these buildings, and discussing the rituals and decisions made by the co-op boards in these various buildings—it's a topic we found fascinating. Having grown up in Manhattan, we were particularly interested in how the denizens of co-ops interact with each other, and basically how they don't interact with each other." In relating the lives of several families within the neighborhood, they hoped to describe "how different people's lives can be, even though they are being led only a few floors apart."
Wolves in Chic Clothing is a "slick reimagining of the Pygmalion myth," as Booklist contributor Kristine Huntley noted. Julia is an aspiring jewelry designer from California, recently relocated to Manhattan. She is taken in hand by rich girls Lell Pelham, daughter of Julia's employer, and her friend Polly Mecox. They hope to make over this gem in the rough, but it is Julia who is the one to see through their materialistic front and into the hollowness of the lives of these two young women. Huntley further termed this second novel "the perfect light spring read, full of biting barbs lobbed at New York's elite." Similarly, a Kirkus Reviews critic described Wolves in Chic Clothing "an airy souffle that, to its credit, never overreaches." Jane Jorgensen, writing in Library Journal, was less impressed with the effort, though, writing that the "novel is neither funny nor clever, and the awkward phrasing, wildly uneven and unlikable characterizations, and stilted dialog made it a slog from beginning to end."
Karasyov and Kargman present a novel for younger readers with their Bittersweet Sixteen, a tale of friendship and learning to be true to oneself. Laura goes to school at an expensive New York school largely filled with rich kids. A scholarship student, Laura does not fit in with most of these, but manages to find friends closer to her own sensibilities. However, when a new girl, Sophie, arrives at the school, things get complicated in Laura's friendship ring. Once again, the authors offer a text rich in designer and product names, but, as School Library Journal contributor Kristen M. Todd wrote, "underneath all the fluff and superficiality are lessons on friendship and love." Similar praise came from Kliatt reviewer Janis Flint-Ferguson, who noted, "Teen readers will love the details and vicariously whirl their way through social contexts they only read about in magazines, but they will also see what it means to be true to oneself."
With The Infidelity Pact, Karasyov wrote her first solo work, "a chatty novel about women who cheat," as a Kirkus Reviews critic described it. Set in California, the novel charts the course of four bored female friends who decide to spice up their lives with a bit of extramarital activity. They give themselves a year to accomplish this feat, and Karasyov examines the complications and difficulties that result, including a blackmailing gossip columnist who threatens to tell all about the ladies' infidelities. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly felt that "flashes of inventive plotting flame out in an overheated ending." Higher praise came from Book reporter.com contributor Marie Hashima Lofton, who concluded, "I was entertained and at the same time felt connected to [the characters]; what's more, I even cared about the outcome to each of their stories."
Karasyov and Kargman teamed up together once again for the young adult novel Summer Intern, in which young Kira Parker earns a position as a summer intern for Skirt, a New York fashion magazine. Kira's joy is somewhat dispelled, however, by the fact that the daughter of the magazine's owner, Daphne, along with some of her friends, are also interning. Though she is more talented, Kira is passed over as an assistant to the editor; well-connected Daphne gets that position. Despite this setback, however, Kira still has a valuable summer in this "funny and lighthearted" novel, as Emily Garrett termed the work in School Library Journal. A more equivocal assessment was offered by Kliatt reviewer Myrna Marler, who found Summer Intern "predictable, a safe place for teen girls who want to escape reality for a while and be assured of a happy ending."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2005, Kristine Huntley, review of Wolves in Chic Clothing, p. 941.
Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2005, review of Wolves in Chic Clothing, p. 75; April 15, 2007, review of The Infidelity Pact.
Kliatt, July, 2006, Janis Flint-Ferguson, review of Bittersweet Sixteen, p. 10; May, 2007, Myrna Marler, review of Summer Intern, p. 14.
Library Journal, April 1, 2004, review of The Right Address, p. 124; December 1, 2004, Barbara Hoffert, review of Wolves in Chic Clothing, p. 88; March 15, 2005, Jane Jorgenson, review of Wolves in Chic Clothing, p. 72.
People, May 17, 2004, Allison Lynn, review of The Right Address, p. 50.
Publishers Weekly, April 5, 2004, review of The Right Address, p. 41; February 21, 2005, review of Wolves in Chic Clothing, p. 156; March 26, 2007, review of The Infidelity Pact, p. 64.
School Library Journal, October, 2006, Kristen M. Todd, review of Bittersweet Sixteen, p. 160; June, 2007, Emily Garrett, review of Summer Intern, p. 148.
Town & Country, June, 2004, Chantal M. McLaughlin, review of The Right Address, p. 60.
Bookloons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (October 24, 2007), Shannon Bigham, review of Wolves in Chic Clothing.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (October 24, 2007), Marie Hashima Lofton, review of The Infidelity Pact.
Curled up with a Good Kid's Book,http://www.curledupkids.com/ (October 24, 2007), Jamie Layton, review of Wolves in Chic Clothing, Melissa Parcel, review of Bittersweet Sixteen.
Random House Web site,www.randomhouse.com/ (October 29, 2004), interview with Carrie Karasyov and Jill Kargman.