Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spotlight and Giveaway: The Other Typist

**Giveaway is now closed**

In the New York City of 1923, two young women meet while working as typists for the police department, recording the confessions of thieves and murderers. At first glance, they couldn’t seem more different from one another. Rose Baker, raised in an orphanage by Catholic nuns, is plain, rule-bound, and prudish. Odalie Lazare, on the other hand – with her unflappable poise, musical laugh, and golden beauty capped by a stylish black bob – exudes all the glamour and excitement of the Jazz Age. Yet these two will be drawn inextricably together by mutual need into a dizzying vortex of obsession, deception, and murder in Suzanne Rindell’s stunning first novel, The Other Typist.

“They said the typewriter would unsex us” begins the tale, told in Rose’s spellbinding voice. Rose lives in a tumultuous time for women, torn between the staid verities of the Victorian era and the new opportunities, entertainments, and mores of the Roaring Twenties. Rose, who holds to old-fashioned notions of sisterhood and sexual restraint, knows firmly which side of the divide she stands on – until the day she meets Odalie, who has stepped unreservedly into the new age.

Rose is not quite sure why Odalie chooses her as a bosom friend, but she is dazzled by the world of speakeasies, cocktails, cigarettes, and easy interactions with men into which Odalie leads her. After official word comes down that their precinct on the Lower East Side has been tasked with a mission to close down the speakeasies, the highly observant Rose notices that Odalie’s reports begin to include small mistakes that eventually lead to bigger ones, and ultimately the exoneration of bootleggers Rose has come to know.

“I am there to transcribe what will eventually come to be known as the truth,” Ruth says. But as both she and the reader come to discover, truth can be a slippery concept, particularly when it comes to Odalie. As roommates in an elegant apartment on which Odalie pays the rent, the two women share the intimate stories of their pasts, although Odalie never tells the same one twice. Rose, intoxicated by her release from lifelong loneliness and her closeness to such an exotic and fascinating creature, repeatedly bites her tongue and stifles her doubts.

But when, at an elegant house party on Long Island, Rose and Odalie run into an earnest young college student who suggests that he has knowledge of Odalie’s involvement in a deadly crime, those doubts can no longer be contained. Steeling her resolve, Rose determines to confront Odalie with her contradictions, and demand that she stop her scheming and risky behavior. As Rose woefully finds out, however, Odalie’s most terrible power lies not in her own actions but in what she is capable of driving others – including Rose – to do.

Photo by Emily Kate Roemer
Suzanne Rindell is a doctoral student in American modernist literature at Rice University. The Other Typist is her first novel. Born in New Mexico and raised in northern California, she lives in New York City and is currently working on a second novel. Visit her online at her website.

Thanks to Penguin, we have one copy of The Other Typist for a lucky US reader!

How to win:

Please tell us about an adventure or crazy situation you've experienced with a close friend.

One entry per person.

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.

US only. Giveaway ends April 8th at midnight EST.


Unknown said...

I hope this is where you enter. I would love to read this book on many levels. I guess my best adventure with a friend is when I realized that being her friend would always be an adventure. For instance, she divorced her husband to marry my ex-brother-in-law, who was a minister dating her husband's sister. And then divorced him to re-marry her first husband. Need I go on? Bonnie Franks, Thank you.

Linda Kish said...

It may not have been crazy for anyone else but for me it was. I spent yesterday at a Price Is Right taping. A 13 hour day from the time I left home til I got back for a 1 hour TV how. Six hours of driving time. Five hours of waiting time. Never again.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Mary Jo Burke said...

My friend visited from England. We went to dinner and the waitress wouldn't serve her alcohol because she didn't have a driver's license. Her id listed her birth date, but it was foreign and could be fake. We left before she called the cops. Next place, no problem.


susieqlaw said...

My best friend from college and I got lost on a class trip to Germany...and realized...we did not speak German so well! After consulting our pocket German guides, we finally got directions before dark!

Carl Scott said...

So you only want one story, right? Well, back in the day a friend and I took a winter trip to Florida just for laughs. We didn't outstay our welcome but we did run out of money. Eventually we had to sell a couple of pints of blood to get enough money to make a pile of peanut butter sandwiches to eat while we hitchhiked back to Toronto. Ah, those were the days. carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

Bonnie K. said...

This may not be crazy to some, but it was out of the norm for me. I went snow backpacking and camping in the woods for three days--no toilets, no heat except when we built a fire, and I was always cold--didn't have the appropriate attire--luckily I didn't get frost bites. The guys built an igloo and slept in it--that part was cool.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Melanie Backus said...

I would love this book! My daughter and I are so very close and have experienced many fun things. We once drove two hours to stand in line four hours to get a cookbook signed and share a few words with The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drumond. The signing and chat took about five minutes but we had the best time and it was worth it!

mauback55 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

Going to the beach with a friend

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Kristen said...

We did a road trip all through Florida (we're from the Midwest) one summer that had many crazy stories. :)


pascale said...

driving from LA to Idaho in 13 hours!! Wow!

jpetroroy said...

Staying out all night in NYC

Unknown said...

I consider my mom my best friend, and the craziest thing we ever did was go camping. (outdoors, in a tent) in N. Truro, Massachusetts, during the first week of April. Now, April in MA is usually cold, but then it was frigid (high of about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and colder at night!). We were so cold we used every blanket we could find, and wore 3 outfits each, and still froze!,

Nova said...

We were working like 70 hours a week setting up a new store(plus taking care of kids and home). Someone had the bright idea to "go out" on a Friday night and we stayed out all night; didn't sleep. Wanted to die the next day at work. Never again.

Melissa said...

Thanks to everyone for participating.

Thanks to Penguin for sharing the book with our winner. chose ONE winner from all entries with contact info (one entry per person).

Congrats to susieqlaw!