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The Seductive Lady Vanessa of Manhattanshire

A Novel

Published by Post Hill Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster
LIST PRICE $24.99
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About The Book

A hilarious, multi-layered, modern mashup of Don Quixote, Cold Comfort Farm, and The Thirteenth Tale, The Seductive Lady Vanessa of Manhattanshire is an ingenious must-read for fans of romantic fiction, literary satire, and books about books.

Famous Arabic translator Oona Noor receives a mysterious manuscript from Cairo entitled The Seductive Lady Vanessa of Manhattanshire and realizes she has discovered a masterpiece. The book, written by an unknown author named Aisha Benengeli, spins the tale of Maxine More, a divorced, romance novel–obsessed New Yorker who envisions herself as a Georgian Lady and sees the world entirely through the prism of her beloved books. Designating her cleaning lady Magdalena Cruz as her lady-in-waiting, Lady Vee embarks on a series of misadventures. She mistakes a plumber for a famous alpha male; pursues her poodle-owning crush, Nelson Dodge; dispenses misguided advice to the lovelorn and goes man-hunting on New York’s Upper East Side. Heartbroken when the manuscript ends abruptly, translator Noor journeys to Cairo, hunts for the concluding pages, and uncovers a stunning confession from Lady Vee’s creator Benengeli about her own romantic troubles. As the author struggles to find happiness for her crazed character and herself, the translator desperately searches for the elusive writer. In the end, this delightfully inventive novel unspools three tales about three very different women, each on a quest for a perfect love story.

About The Author

Seth Kaufman is a Brooklyn-based novelist and journalist. He has ghostwritten several nonfiction national bestsellers and is the co-author of the acclaimed exposé Stealth War. The New York Times called his book The King of Pain “one of 2012’s most entertaining novels.” His work has appeared in many national publications.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Post Hill Press (June 7, 2022)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781637583623

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Raves and Reviews

“Clever… fans of Cervantes, Jane Austen, and even E.L. James will enjoy the humorous nods to these literary forebears.”

– Publishers Weekly

“Kaufman has written a witty and utterly original take on the Don Quixote story—charming and unexpected.”

– Miranda Heller, author of NYT bestseller "The Paper Palace"

“Mad times call for mad literature. Seth Kaufman’s zany and hilarious re-interpretation of the Don Quixote legend, via a delusional, middle-aged, romance novel junkie on the Upper West Side, lives up to the challenge. Also, it has a happy ending! Insofar as the novel otherwise defies description, I strongly recommend you read it yourself.”

– Lucinda Rosenfeld, author of "Class"

The Seductive Lady Vanessa is tailor-made for all book addicts seeking fun, adventure, and laughter. But romance fans will find themselves particularly smitten as Lady Vee and her Brooklyn-born lady-in-waiting caper through modern Manhattan(shire) looking for love in all the wrong places. Like its forerunners Don Quixote and Pride and Prejudice, the book smuggles in deep human issues amid the antics: addiction in sneaky modern forms, loneliness amid vast crowds, and acceptance of self as a bridge to freedom. This is a wonderful, sharp, and laugh-out-loud work that takes a kind-eyed look at the risks, struggles, and rewards of wanting a little love now.”

– Robin McLean, author of "Pity the Beast"

“In The Seductive Lady of Manhattanshire, Seth Kaufman not only brings Don Quixote’s obsession with chivalric romances into the 21st century through the hilarious Manhattanite Lady Vee’s mad passion for romance novels, but he also updates Cervantes’s narrator Cide Hamete Benengeli through the suspenseful story of the Egyptian Aisha Benengeli, this novel’s ‘author.’ A fit successor to the many works of wit and satire that have followed the path of Don Quixote de la Mancha, Kaufman’s novel will satisfy readers seeking both Cervantes’s metafictional play and ironic jabs at self-fashioning as well as Jane Austen’s gentle satire of the business of romance.”

– Rachel Schmidt, author of "Forms of Modernity: Don Quixote and Modern Theories of the Novel"

“This uproarious, clever book is a testament to the sheer joy of story. Lady Vanessa is just like you and me: full of determination, misled by her own fervent hope, and unable to accept the dissonance between her dreams and the real world. Like the Knight of the Sorrowful Face before her, she shows us who we are and how we live—and helps us laugh, compassionately, at our limited, human lives.”

– Isobel Wohl, author of "Cold New Climate"

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