Sima, Carol Ann 1956-
SIMA, Carol Ann 1956-
PERSONAL: Born 1956, in NY.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Coffee House Press, 27 North Fourth St., No. #400, Minneapolis, MN 55401.
CAREER: New York school system, grade school language arts teacher; writer.
Jane's Bad Hare Day, Dalkey Archive Press (Normal, IL), 1995.
The Mermaid That Came between Them, Coffee House Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.
Contributor to periodicals, including Rain Taxi, Locus and Science-Fiction Chronicle.
SIDELIGHTS: Carol Ann Sima, an author and grade-school language-arts teacher in New York City, has written surreal fiction novels that focus on female and male mid-life divorcees. Her stories include giant rabbits, mermaids, and talking walls.
Her first book, Jane's Bad Hare Day, was published in 1995. This book tells the story of an October in the life of Jane Samuels, a Manhattan divorcee. To start things off, an enormous rabbit attacks Samuels in midtown Manhattan. This begins a tale of divorcee trauma, wherein she runs into her ex-husband and his pregnant new wife. Samuels' ex-husband stocks his house by pulling furnishings out of a briefcase, and walls give advice and provide housing for New York's homeless. Spontaneous sex breaks out with friends and strangers, and even with the walls. Sima includes some normality, however; Samuels eats ice cream and shops for a new swimsuit. A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that the "novel tries too hard to be outrageous." Similarly, a Publishers Weekly reviewer stated, "Sima's gift for wordplay dazzles at times, but most readers will want her to stop trying so hard to pull a rabbit out of her hare net."
Sima's next book, The Mermaid Who Came between Them, revisits divorced life, this time with a male character. Published in 2002, the novel was written by hand at coffee shops around New York City. The main character, Jacob Koleman, a mildly successful novelist, fell in love when he was five with a mermaid named Claritha, who coaxed him into the water. Jacob later marries his second love, Cheryl, who later divorces him. Claritha eventually returns, afraid that mermaids will become extinct, and engages Jacob and his university-aged son, Mac, in an effort to fertilize her egg. Locus reviewer Edward Bryant stated, "The Mermaid That Came between Them is a peculiar but delightful meditation in fantastical terms about the innate weirdness of male/female, general family, professional, and marital relationships in this postmodern era."
A native New Yorker, Sima has also written for Rain Taxi, Locus and the Science Fiction Chronicle.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 1995, review of Jane's Bad Hare Day p. 179.
Library Journal, May 1, 2002, Julia LoFaso, review of The Mermaid That Came between Them, p. 135.
Locus, June, 2002, Edward Bryant, review of The Mermaid That Came between Them, p. 29.
Publishers Weekly, review of Jane's Bad Hare Day, p. 63.*