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Carole DeSanti is an editor who champions independent voices in women’s fiction. Her debut novel, The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R., was published in 2013. 

Photo: Sigrid Estrada

Photo: Sigrid Estrada

Carole DeSanti is a novelist and book editor.  DeSanti’s first novel The Unruly Passions of Eugénie R. evolved over years of semi-clandestine research and writing on the side of her day job in publishing.  A response to such classics as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Zola’s Nana, the novel explores a woman’s journey from crisis and self-doubt to awakening and consciousness during the turbulent era of Second Empire France and the Siege of Paris. A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice in 2012, Unruly Passions has been hailed as “a magnificent novel in scope and achievement, powerfully written yet delicately evocative” (Fay Weldon) and “the poem of female desires: sexual, artistic, political, intellectual, maternal. And all these unfold amid a richness of historical detail, rendered in elegant 19th-century-style prose” (The New York Times Book Review) .  She is currently at work on a new novel, Plunder: The Exploits and Adventures of the Notorious Pyrates Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

Over the course of her publishing career Carole has held various editorial positions at Dutton and Viking Penguin, now divisions of Penguin Random House. Her publishing work is distinguished by a commitment to quality and integrity, her discovery of significant new voices in memoir and fiction, and for her support of women writers. 

Notable titles Carole has published include Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina; Melissa Bank’s A Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing; the award-winning novels of Ruth Ozeki, including Booker-finalist A Tale for the Time Being; Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Monkey Bridge by Lan Cao, and George Hodgman's Bettyville. She edited and published the bestselling novels of Terry McMillan, including How Stella Got her Groove Back and A Day Late and a Dollar Short,  and the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Her interest in health and wellness inspired her work on David Servan-Schreiber's pioneering  Anticancer,  A New Way of Life, and Mark Wolynn’s book on inherited family trauma,  It Didn’t Start with You. 

Carole's reviews and essays have been published in The New York TimesThe Huffington Post, The Guardian, and The Women's Review of Books. She has been profiled in Poets & Writers Magazine and Psychology Today and awarded fellowships and residencies at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, Hedgebrook, and Aspen Words.  

Starting in September of 2019, Carole will teach an advanced fiction workshop at Smith College as the Elizabeth Drew Professor of English Language and Literature.