A novel by Cris Mazza

May 1, 1994 • 5.5 x 8.5 • 250 pages • 978-1-56689-019-9

In a new novel as inventive as her earlier works, award-winning author Cris Mazza combines a mystery with an evocative story about one woman’s precarious attempt to distinguish between reality and perception.

Connie Zamora assumes that what she captures on film is a preservation of her memory—until one of her news photographs sets off disturbing accusations. In an illogical attempt to normalize her life, she takes a job with a theater group. As Connie struggles to belong to this new world, the lines separating truth from perception and dream from delusion become precariously blurred. Faced with another controversy over a photo, one that may prove arson, she is swept into the mystery at hand. But unraveling what took lace only leads to the unraveling of Connie’s own life—and possibly her grip on reality itself.

About the Author

Cris Mazza is the author of How to Leave a Country, Your Name Here: ___, Exposed, Dog People, and Is It Sexual Harassment Yet? She was also co-editor of Chick-Lit: Postfeminist Fiction (1995), and Chick-Lit 2 (No Chick Vics) (1996). Mazza’s fiction has been reviewed numerous times in the New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, Ms. Magazine, Chicago Tribune Books, Los Angeles Times Book Review, Voice Literary Supplement, and many other book review publications.

A native of Southern California, Cris Mazza grew up in San Diego County. She is a graduate of San Diego State University and Brooklyn College. Mazza has taught fiction writing at UC San Diego, and was Writer in Residence at Austin Peay State University and at Allegheny College. Since 1993 Mazza has lived outside Chicago. She is a professor in and director of the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In spring 2000 Mazza was the Chairholder in Creative Writing in the MFA program at the University of Alabama, and was an NEA grant recipient in 2000-2001.


“The only surprise about the high quality of the writing here is that Cris Mazza is not yet a best-selling novelist.” —Ron Sukenick

“Mazza’s second novel, a follow-up to her PEN Nelson Algren Award-winning How to Leave a Country (1992), is a fascinating, unsettling tale, told by an untrustworthy narrator whose perceptions shift and dance manically. Connie, the narrator, is a former newspaper photographer trying to escape her past by joining the pit band of a touring musical-theater company. . . . Mazza masterfully interweaves Connie’s desire to become totally invisible through her photography (the news photographer is always on the scene but never part of the action) with her need to relate to other people. She also successfully animates the inner life of her thoroughly passive narrator. Mazza hasn’t received much popular recognition to date, but this novel could quickly change that.” Booklist