For me, Dorothea Dreams is the most purely beautiful of [Suzy McKee Charnas's] novels. It is certainly the one that speaks most directly to my own fears and obsessions. When I read it, I am proud to be a woman, proud to be an artist, even proud to be asthmatic and mortal and fallible, because they're all part of being human. And that's what art and literature are about, aren't they? The glory and shame of the human condition.
Suzy sent me a copy of a letter, with James Tiptree, Jr.'s comment (dated 25 November, 1985) on it: "It's an intimate book, a book to savour privately. [Suzy McKee Charnas] has a high-burning talent." I like that one, especially. But I think my favorite sentence from all the reviews the book collected back in the 1980s is this one, from UPI International (which no longer exists): "The plot in Dorothea Dreams starts slowly and explodes like the dreams that shake Dorothea from her sleep with visions of the French Revolution and blood-thirsty crowds." With all that is going on in the novel, that sentence nails the key event of the book: Dorothea's full awakening into the world she lives in. This book, for me, is really about the artist and the artist's relation to her world and her work on the one hand, and the relation between the work and the world on the other. If these relations interest you, then I know you'll want to read Dorothea Dreams.
You can purchase the book now here.