Jenny Davidson, author of The Magic Circle, on tour April/May 2013

Posted By on March 7, 2013

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About The Magic Circle

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New Harvest; 1 edition (March 26, 2013)

Three young female academics design daring, boundary-pushing games—until one of them goes too far, in this contemporary thriller by an acclaimed Columbia University professor

In the genre-bending literary thriller THE MAGIC CIRCLE, by Columbia University professor Jenny Davidson (Amazon Publishing/New Harvest, on sale March 26, 2013), three young women invent a live-action role-playing game that goes terribly awry. Lucy, Ruth, and Anna are academics who study the culture of gaming. With New York City as their playground, they design games based on the secret history of the neighborhood around Columbia University. From Grant’s Tomb to the insane asylum that once stood where the campus is now, the chilling past makes Morningside Heights the perfect setting for their daring games.

Roommates Ruth and Lucy join forces with their mysterious Swedish neighbor Anna to develop an immersive game based on The Bacchae. In Euripides’ classic play, a young man, Pentheus, denies the divinity of the god Dionysus and pays a high price for asserting the values of reason over passion. When Anna’s seductive brother Anders gets involved and introduces “LARP”ing (live-action role-playing), their ideas become reality and the game goes from thrilling to terrifying.

Davidson’s state-of-the-art narrative structure includes blog posts, text messages, and Gchats—mixing contemporary culture with the enduring drama of The Bacchae. THE MAGIC CIRCLE delves into the sociology of live-action role-playing and highlights the fine line between gaming and real life.

“Davidson deftly orchestrates a startling collision between the classical and the contemporary, reality and play.”Kirkus Reviews 

“Elegant, brutally smart, and utterly absorbing—The Secret History as directed by Whit Stillman.”—Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me 

“Like a novel by a 21st-century Muriel Spark, this book about smart women, dangerous games, and the roles we play in life enthralled me. I love it. —Sara Gran, author of Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead 

“Imagine Irish Murdoch, channeling Janet Evanovich and cribbing the sheer art of P.D. James’s gripping storytelling, and you’d have the tone and flavor of Davidson’s novel.” —Ken Bruen, author of The Hackman Blues and The Guards

Davidson Photo - (c) Roger KriegelAbout Jenny Davidson

Jenny Davidson is a professor of comparative literature at Columbia University. She is the author of the novel Heredity (2003); two YA novels, The Explosionist (2008) and Invisible Things (2010); and several academic books. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and blogs at Light Reading .

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Jenny Davidson’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, April 8th:  Reading on a Rainy Day

Thursday, April 11th:  Sweet Southern Home

Monday, April 15th:  Nerds in Babeland

Wednesday, April 17th:  Books a la Mode – guest post and giveaway

Wednesday, April 17th:  Simply Stacie

Tuesday, April 23rd:  The Book Barista

Friday, April 26th:  Reading Reality

Monday, April 29th:  The Scarlet Letter

Tuesday, April 30th:  Literally Jen

Thursday, May 2nd:  Booked on a Feeling

Sunday, May 5th:  Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile

Thursday, May 9th:  Book Hooked Blog

Thursday, May 9th:  Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Friday, May 10th:  Reviews by Elizabeth A. White

Monday, May 13th:  Jen’s Book Thoughts

Tuesday, May 14th:  I Read a Book Once

Monday, May 20th:  What She Read

Wednesday, May 22nd:  Book Journey

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