Schulman, Audrey 1963-

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Schulman, Audrey 1963-

PERSONAL:

Born May 9, 1963, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; daughter of Henry Evan (a computer expert and stockbroker) and Ingrid (an artist) Schulman. Education: Attended Sarah Lawrence College, 1981-83; Barnard College, B.A., 1985. Religion: "Pantheist."

ADDRESSES:

Agent—Richard Parks, P.O. Box 693, Salem, NY 12865.

CAREER:

Computer consultant, Internet Web site designer, and scriptwriter, 1986—.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Citation for "notable novel," American Library Association, for The Cage.

WRITINGS:

The Cage (novel), Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC), 1994.

Swimming with Jonah (novel), Bard (New York, NY), 1999.

A House Named Brazil (novel), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

The Cage has been translated into about a dozen languages.

SIDELIGHTS:

Audrey Schulman is the author of The Cage, a novel about Beryl, a young female photographer employed to study polar bears in the Canadian tundra. Beryl is the lone woman among three men who make up the rest of the expedition team. As a critic in Kirkus Reviews pointed out, Beryl is "hired not for her talent or experience, but because she's the only applicant small enough to fit inside the cage." With the expedition proving to be arduous, Beryl must contend with both brutal weather conditions and difficult social circumstances in stifling living quarters. When she actually encounters the polar bears, Beryl experiences an intense exhilaration; as Schulman writes, "The large female stuck the front of her paw in between the bars…. She fanned her long white claws at Beryl, like fingers gesturing her forward…. Beryl wanted to kiss each individual claw." In the Village Voice, Carol Anshaw noted that after the encounter, The Cage resorts to devices commonly found in "wilderness adventure" novels, such as "animals will turn out to be nobler than humans."

Nonetheless, Anshaw praised Schulman's talent as one of "unusual elegance" and stated that "there is something winning in the way she co-opts the power in what is traditionally a male literary genre, paralleling the way her protagonist siphons off power from the bears she's photographing." A reviewer in Publishers Weekly was impressed by the depth of Schulman's characters, which, combined "with detailed observation of the natural world and crisply described action," results in a "startling and memorable" work.

Schulman once told CA: "The most striking themes in my novels are of extreme wilderness settings (such as the Arctic or steaming Indonesian islands), and of wild animals. I live in the city, in an apartment building with an over-pruned garden. The novel offers me escape. Perhaps if I lived in the Amazon, I'd write about Harlem."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Schulman, Audrey, The Cage, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC), 1994.

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 1994, review of The Cage.

New York Times Book Review, April 20, 1994, review of The Cage.

Publishers Weekly, February 14, 1994, review of The Cage.

Village Voice, October 6, 1994, Carol Anshaw, review of The Cage.

ONLINE

Audrey Schulman's Novels,http://www.audreyschulman.com (April 2, 2008).