Carmen Dog

Carol Emshwiller  - published November 2004

The debut title in our Peapod Classics reprint line.

“A rollicking outre satire…. full of comic leaps and absurdist genius.”
Bitch magazine

In this dangerous and sharp-eyed look at men, women, and the world we live in, everything is changing: women are turning into animals, and animals are turning into women. Pooch, a golden setter, is turning into a beautiful woman — although she still has some of her canine traits: she just can’t shuck that loyalty thing — and her former owner has turned into a snapping turtle. When the turtle tries to take a bite of her own baby, Pooch snatches the baby and runs. Meanwhile, there’s a dangerous wolverine on the loose, men are desperately trying to figure out what’s going on, and Pooch discovers what she really wants: to sing Carmen.

Carmen Dog is the funny feminist classic that inspired writers Pat Murphy and Karen Joy Fowler to create the James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award. We are very pleased to publish it as the debut title in our new Peapod Press reprint line.

Chapter One:

“The beast changes to a woman or the woman changes to a beast,” the doctor says. “In her case it is certainly the latter since she has been, on the whole, quite passable as a human being up to the present moment. There may be hundreds of these creatures already among us. No way to tell for sure how many.”

Read on

Reviews

A first novel that combines the cruel humor of Candide with the allegorical panache of Animal Farm. . . . There has not been such a singy combination of imaginative energy, feminist outrage, and sheer literary muscle since Joanna Russ’s classic The Female Man.
Entertainment Weekly

Carol is the most unappreciated great writer we’ve got. Carmen Dog ought to be a classic in the colleges by now . . . It’s so funny, and it’s so keen.
Ursula K. Le Guin, author of Changing Planes

Pure essence of Emshwiller. Only she could have taken the women’s movement, opera, and a wolverine and come up with such enchantment.
Connie Willis, author of Passage

One of my favorite books! Funny, ironic, and wonderfully true in its consideration of women and other animals.
Pat Murphy, author of There and Back Again

With Carmen Dog, Carol Emshwiller takes her place beside Mikhail Bulgakov and his great social satire, Heart of a Dog. She is one of the premiere fantasists working today, and her fiction is always more than the sum of the parts.
Gregory Frost, author of Fitcher’s Brides

The novel asks, in the most humorous way imaginable, where we might be as a civilization without our pets and sacrificial caretakers. The humor helps disguise the horrific implications, but never is the bite taken from the dog.
Strange Horizons

This trenchant feminist fantasy-satire mixes elements of Animal Farm, Rhinoceros and The Handmaid’s Tale…. Imagination and absurdist humor mark [Carmen Dog] throughout, and Emshwiller is engaging even when most savage about male-female relationships.
– Booklist

Her fantastic premise allows Emshwiller canny and frequently hilarious insights into the damaging sex-role stereotypes both men and women perpetuate.
– Publishers Weekly

An inspired feminist fable…. A wise and funny book.
– The New York Times

“A fable, chock full of heroes and villains, tragedy and triumph, all complex in the way a Dali canvas is complex, and funny in the very same way.”
Spectrum Circus

– Vector: The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association
– Strange Horizons

About this book
Copyright 1990 by Carol Emshwiller. All rights reserved. First published in the USA by Mercury House 1990. This edition printed on 52.5# Enviro Edition recycled paper in Canada by Transcontinental Printing. Text set in Centaur MT. Titles set in Friz Quadrata.

Cover art by Kevin Huizenga.

About the author
Carol Emshwiller‘s stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Century, ScifictionLady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, TriQuarterly, Transatlantic Review, New Directions, Orbit, Epoch, The Voice Literary Supplement, Omni, Crank!, Confrontation,and many other anthologies and magazines.

Carol is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and has been awarded an NEA grant, a New York State Creative Artists Public Service grant, a New York State Foundation for the Arts grant, the ACCENT/ASCENT fiction prize, and the World Fantasy, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, Gallun, and Icon awards.

Recently, her stories have appeared in TrampolineMcSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling TalesLeviathan 3, and Polyphony.

Carol Emshwiller is the author of four previous collections of short fiction: The Start of the End of it All (Winner of the 1991 World Fantasy Award)Report to the Men’s Club and Other Stories,Verging on the Pertinent, and Joy in Our Cause, and five novels The Mount, Ledoyt, Leaping Man Hill, and Mr. Boots(forthcoming).

She lives in New York City in the winter where she teaches at New York University School of Continuing Education. She spends the summers in a shack in the Sierras in California.