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Mimi by Lucy Ellmann

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By turns celebratory and scathing, romantic and dyspeptic, Mimi is a story of music, New York, sculpture, martinis, public speaking, quilt-stealing, eggnog and, most of all, love. A vibrant call-to-arms, this is Lucy Ellmann's most extraordinary book to date.


Mimi by Lucy Ellmann

Bach, sculpture, plastic surgery, public speaking and a New York love story like no other - this is Lucy Ellmann's most extraordinary work of art to date It's Christmas Eve in Manhattan. Harrison Hanafan, noted plastic surgeon, falls on his ass. 'Ya can't sit there all day, buddy, looking up people's skirts!' chides a weird gal in a coat like a duvet. She then kindly conjures the miracle of a taxi. While recuperating with Franz Schubert, Bette Davis, and a foundling cat, Harrison adds items to his life's work, a List of Melancholy Things (puppetry, shrimp-eating contests, Walmart...) before going back to rhinoplasties, liposuction, and the peccadilloes of his obnoxious colleagues. Then Harrison collides once more with the strangely helpful woman, Mimi, who bursts into his life with all her curves and chaos. They soon fall emphatically in love. And, as their love-making reaches a whole new kind of climax, the sweet smell of revolution is in the air.


'YES! I'm throwing all my woolly winter berets in the air for Mimi! Only Lucy at her best is able, somehow, to rap on in a manner that binds together Bugs Bunny and Wagner, Haydn and hunchbacks...' Barbara Trapido

'I am bowled over by Mimi Susannah Clapp One of the few really innovative and original writers of her generation ... Ellmann's writing is in a class of its own' The Times

'[Ellmann has] an unsentimental eye for the incongruities of modern life; a bawdy sense of humour, and a distinctive voice, by turns angry and regretful, poetic and dyspeptic ... She is not merely a clever collage maker, but a gifted writer capable of exploring the tragedies as well as the absurdities of life' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

'Reading Ellmann is to be taken on a subversive adventure by a bad-tempered fairy' Daily Telegraph

'Lucy Ellmann is an expert juggler with words ... her satire is deft and sophisticated and enchantingly surreal' Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Born in Illinois, Lucy Ellmann was dragged to England as a teenager. Her first novel, Sweet Desserts, won the Guardian Fiction Prize. It was followed by Varying Degrees of Hopelessness, Man or Mango? A Lament, Dot in the Universe and Doctors & Nurses. She now lives in Edinburgh.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Lucy Ellmann

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Literary Fiction
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