Edward Carey (novelist)

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Edward Carey (born 1970, England) is a playwright, and novelist. He has written several adaptations for the stage, including Patrick Süskind’s The Pigeon, and Robert Coover’s Pinocchio in Venice. His own plays include Sulking Thomas and Captain of the Birds. He collaborated with Eddin Khoo, on the wayang kulit translation of Macbeth called Macbeth in the Shadows.[1]

He attended the University of Iowa International Writing Program and taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is married to the writer Elizabeth McCracken.[2]

He is represented by Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedman.[3]


Though Edward Carey seems to intend his first novel, Observatory Mansions, to be an unsentimental, surrealist romance, it's really a paean to loneliness. For the book is never so interesting as when its characters are despairing and alone. All goes well then for the first hundred pages, where Carey lays out the solitude housed in Observatory Mansions, a greying apartment building where Francis Orme, the book's narrator, cultivates a secret life of stillness and theft.[4]

From Richardson to Dickens to Ackroyd, English literary fiction seems to favour the elephantine. Miniaturists – Austen, Pym perhaps, Brookner – are rarer, less typical. Edward Carey is most decidedly a miniaturist. "Miniature things move people," he remarks, two dozen pages into his second novel; and again, a similar distance from the end.[5]

An imaginary city: this is a time for such a vision, especially for New Yorkers, whose city has always been in flux, though perhaps never more painfully and self-consciously than today. Entralla, the fictitious metropolis at the heart of Edward Carey's second novel, exists not only in our imagination and in the pages of Alva & Irva (which serves as Entralla's one and only guidebook) but in the form of tiny plasticine models of its streets and houses, seen in the appealingly smudgy photographs that punctuate the novel. A re-creation of Entralla also appears in the story of Alva & Irva, since the twins of the book's title are the designer and sculptor, respectively, of their native city in miniature.[6]


  1. ^ Bakar, Sharon (19 June 2005) Writer who draws out books, The Star (Malaysia)
  2. ^ 2008–2009 Radcliffe Institute Fellows, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
  3. ^ Edward Carey, Blake Friedman
  4. ^ Valdes, Marcela (18 April 2001). Edward Carey: Observatory Mansions, Minneapolis City Pages
  5. ^ Greenland, Colin (17 May 2003). "Small world", The Guardian
  6. ^ Harrison, Carey (23 March 2003). One Word: Plasticine, The New York Times

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