CHIMERICA: A NOVEL by Anita Felicelli
Publication date: Sept. 5, 2019
Down-and-out Tamil American trial lawyer Maya Ramesh fights to save a painted lemur come to life and becomes a champion for them both. In magic realist tradition, Anita Felicelli’s novel CHIMERICA unearths the inherent absurdities that drive systems of culture, power, and law. Fans of Marquez, Kelly Link, and Helen Oyeyemi will find CHIMERICA a spirited investigation of the ways in which art is codified and commodified. Traveling from Oakland, California, to a Malagasy rainforest, CHIMERICA is a contemporary, philosophical novel about art, originality, and American culture.
Praise for CHIMERICA
“Felicelli’s remarkable CHIMERICA is a coolly surrealist legal thriller — in turns sly, absurd, emotionally vivid, and satirically incisive – that shifts the reader into a world just adjacent to our own.”
—Jonathan Letham, author of Girl in Landscape
"Felicelli blends the matter-of-fact with the mysterious in this utterly unique and compellingly readable debut. CHIMERICA is more than the story of a woman coming into her own power; it's a keen dive into the worlds of law, visual art, and marriage. You really couldn't ask for a novel with better ingredients. Did I mention there's a talking lemur? THERE'S A TALKING LEMUR."
—Kelly Luce, author of Pull Me Under
"CHIMERICA is the novel about trial lawyers, talking lemurs, and public art you never knew you needed. Anita Felicelli's charming prose and intriguing characters pull you in and keep you engaged. I'm thankful for this wonderfully odd, yet beautifully accessible novel."
—Rajesh Parameswaran, author of I Am an Executioner: Love Stories
Praise for Anita Felicelli
“Anita Felicelli has a singular eye for the moments that transfigure lives…”
—Laura Van Den Berg, author of The Third Hotel
"At last, someone is telling our stories in a unique and interesting way." - —Shikha Malaviya, India Currents
"By attempting to get at the heart of painful spaces, by exploring the complex realities of her characters, and by refusing to let any of them emerge from a history-less vacuum, Felicelli seems to be asking us to pause, to consider, to try to understand those around us."
—Ilana Masad, Los Angeles Review of Books
"Felicelli creates a kind of conversation with the reader, allowing one to submerge into her fictional worlds and then return to the surface with new understandings about the world we live in today."
—S. Kirk Walsh, SF Chronicle
"Anita Felicelli’s best stories are her boldest."
—Rumaan Alam, NY Times
About the author
Anita Felicelli is the author of the short story collection Love Songs for a Lost Continent (Stillhouse Press), which won the 2016 Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. Her fiction has appeared in The Normal School, Joyland, The Rumpus, and her essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Slate, SF Chronicle, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Electric Literature. She graduated from UC Berkeley and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and an alum of Voices of Our Nations. She was born in South India and grew up in the Bay Area, where she currently lives with her spouse and three children.