Rajah, Susi

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Rajah, Susi

PERSONAL:

Born in Australia; married.

ADDRESSES:

Home—New York, NY. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, novelist, and art director. Worked in advertising and marketing.

WRITINGS:

(With Adele Lang) How to Spot a Bastard by His Star Sign, Mainstream (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2000, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Adele Lang) I'm Not a Feminist, But—, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2003.

The Gospel according to Sydney Welles (novel), Bloomsbury USA (New York, NY), 2007.

Also author of the Susi Rajah Web log at http://susirajah.typepad.com.

SIDELIGHTS:

Writer and novelist Susi Rajah was born in Australia and formerly worked in advertising. Trained as an art director, Rajah stayed in the advertising field "until she was fed up enough to attempt a novel," commented a biographer on the Susi Rajah Web log. Her earlier work consisted of nonfiction humor books, such as How to Spot a Bastard by His Star Sign, written with Adele Lang. This book contains "firmly tongue-in-cheek characterizations of men," based on their sign of the Zodiac, designed to help women determine a man's suitability for dating and a relationship. These parodies of astrological personality assessments begin from the premise that men of all signs begin with certain unpleasant characteristics, but may possess a limited slate of redeeming values depending on their star sign. Lang and Rajah's humorous personality sketches are intended to bring a smile, and perhaps a knowing nod, from women who have navigated the uncertain waters of modern dating.

The Gospel according to Sydney Welles is Rajah's first novel. Titular protagonist Sydney Welles works at a Los Angeles advertising agency, where she frequently runs interference for her alcoholic boss. Recently dumped by her actor boyfriend for a younger and shapelier woman, Sydney finds solace in her work where she can lose herself in the intricacies of marketing and advertising. Despite her weary cynicism and quick wit, she still holds out hope of meeting the perfect man—or at least one that will be perfect for her. When she does meet such a person, a handsome specimen named Jake, she has trouble believing her good fortune and finds it difficult to deal with Jake's spotless perfection. While trying to come to terms with how she feels about Jake, Sydney experiences heightened stress at work when she is faced with the prospect of taking over a public relations campaign for the Catholic Church. Her continued employment hinges on her ability to renovate the image of God as a stern father figure with the ability to consign someone to eternal damnation. To help with this mission, Sydney strikes up an animated e-mail correspondence with the Almighty. Elsewhere, Sydney and friend Anna navigate encounters with, and attractions to, a priest, a police officer, and an online journalist.

"Quick wit, clever banter, and engaging characters grace" Rajah's debut novel, commented a PublishersWeekly contributor. For a reviewer writing for Revish, the novel proves that "contemporary literature or Chic Lit can be thought provoking and outrageously funny without requiring the reader to check their common sense and intellect at the door." A Kirkus Reviews critic remarked that the novel is "for those who like their heroines hardboiled (with soft centers) and their comedy aggressively cute."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2007, review of The Gospel according to Sydney Welles.

Publishers Weekly, January 21, 2002, review of How to Spot a Bastard by His Star Sign, p. 74; April 23, 2007, review of The Gospel according to Sydney Welles, p. 29.

ONLINE

Bloomsbury USA Web site,http://www.bloomsburyusa.com/ (January 28, 2008), biography of Susi Rajah.

Revish,http://www.revish.com/ (January 28, 2008), "Down Right Funny!," review of The Gospel according to Sydney Welles.

Susi Rajah Home Page,http://www.susirajah.com (January 28, 2008).