Friday, January 6, 2012

THE WHIP by Karen Kondazian

The Whip

"It was so strange, she thought, these moments we pray for; they happen so quick and then they're gone." (Kondazian, pg. 253)

My review:

There are stories and books that to come to you by chance and when you turn the very last page you feel invigorated because you found such a poignant and moving story, that is what happened with THE WHIP.  Karen Kondazian weaves a story of American history where love crosses boundaries and where heartache and love is represented at it truest and rawest form.   As a woman, I admired Charlotte "Charley" Packhurst.  I was incredibly moved by her struggle and her will to make her own life, at some great costs.  Charley kept on trudging forward despite the obstacles she faced.  Kondazian really caputured the essense of what it must have been like for Charlotte to be Charley for all those years.  Written in a nicely paced and engaging style, you will become so entrenched in the story and become emotionationally invested in Charley and the supporting characters.  I have to admit that I am not normally drawn to historical/romance/western, but after reading what THE WHIP was written about, I could not turn it away.  I feel ever so grateful to have read THE WHIP and to share this raving review with you.  I have to agree with the other reviewers saying they could see this becoming a big screen hit.  THE WHIP will not disappoint and I highly recommend it!!!  

Book Description:

November 1, 2011

THE WHIP is inspired by the true story of a woman, Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst (1812-1879) who lived most of her extraordinary life as a man.

As a young woman in Rhode Island, she fell in love and had a child. Her husband was lynched and her baby killed. The destruction of her family drove her west to California, dressed as a man, to track the murder.

Charley became a renowned stagecoach driver. She killed a famous outlaw, had a secret love affair, and lived with a housekeeper who, unaware of her true sex, fell in love with her.

Charley was the first woman to vote in America (as a man). Her grave lies in Watsonville, California.


Image of Karen Kondazian

Karen Kondazian's career as an actor, writer and producer is as diverse as it is long. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts. At the age of eight Karen was chosen to be one of the infamous children on Art Linkletter's "Kids Say the Darndest Things". The opportunity to miss school during tapings was all it took for Karen to abandon her life's goal of becoming a CIA spy and focus on acting.

She completed her schooling at San Francisco State College, The University of Vienna and The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), after which she began her career in New York. Her first professional work was in the award winning production of Michael Cacoyannis' The Trojan Women at the Circle in the Square Theatre.

Her theater career has included starring opposite Ed Harris in Sweet Bird of Youth (which she also produced), Richard Chamberlain in Richard II (dir. Jonathan Miller), Stacy Keach in Hamlet, (dir. Gordon Davidson) Ray Stricklyn in Vieux Carre (West Coast Premiere-Beverly Hills Playhouse, dir. Clyde Ventura, which she also produced). She also starred in Mixed Blessings, the world premiere, with Raul Esparza (dir. Arnold Mittleman) and Eduardo Machado's off-Broadway play, Kissing Fidel (dir. Michael Garces)

She won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in The Rose Tattoo, (in which her work as actor and producer so impressed Tennessee Williams that they became friends and he gave her carte blanche to produce any of his work in his lifetime). 

Other awards and nominations include Ovation, Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly and Garlands for, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Berkeley Rep., dir. Richard Syde) Orpheus Descending (Fountain Theatre, dir. Simon Levy) Night of the Iguana (Old Globe, dir. Jack O'Brien) Lady House Blues, Freedomland (South Coast Rep, dir. David Emmes) The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (Fountain Theatre, dir. Simon Levy) Master Class (Odyssey Theatre, dir. Simon Levy)

She has appeared as series regular lead in CBS's Shannon and guest starred in over 50 television shows and films including, TNT's James Dean with James Franco (dir. Mark Rydell) NYPD Blue and Frasier, Steal Big Steal Little with Andy Garcia and Alan Arkin, Yes Giorgio with Luciano Pavarotti.

Karen is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She is also a member of Women in Film. She occasionally teaches at the Lee Strasberg School of Theater and Film in Hollywood.

Karen is a published writer. She is the author of the book "The Actors Encyclopedia of Casting Directors," with foreword by Richard Dreyfuss. Her column Sculpting Your Own Career has appeared in L.A. STAGE, BackStageWest, and DramaLogue. She also has a new book, The Whip (a historical novel inspired by a true story) coming out soon.

To read more about Karen click HERE

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