We Are Rich
By Dori Carter
(Other Press, Hardcover, 9781590513071, 208pp.)
Publication Date: April 21, 2009
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The little, leafy town of Rancho Esperanza has been a perfect place to live for over a century–a bastion of good, solid, Anglo-Saxon, Republican money. These founding fathers built their gracious estates and country club and fondly called their town, “Ohio by the Sea.” There was only one traffic light and time seemed to stop at the freeway off ramp. Then came the Clinton years and the invasion of the New American Ruling Class: New York hedge fund managers, Hollywood producers, and Silicon Valley billionaires. Almost overnight, real estate prices quadruple, horse pastures vanish, tuna tartare and arugula appear on every menu, and a Democratic congresswoman is elected by a landslide. The Old Guard aristocrats of yesterday are now irrelevant and the only power they have is keeping the Kornblatts out of their country club. Twelve characters with distinctly different voices tell their tales of lust and longing spanning the years from World War II to the present–each story a piece of the jigsaw puzzle. The pieces all fit together until the secrets and lies, guarded for generations, are revealed, changing everything we thought was true about Rancho Esperanza and the people who live there.
Written as a novel in stories, Dori Carter’s social satire gets into the hearts and souls of her characters, and presents a fresh look at our attitudes toward money and the ever-shifting nature of status in America.
Dori Carter is a former screenwriter and television producer. Her first novel, Beautiful Wasps Having Sex, published in 2000, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. Carter lives with her husband, dogs, cats, cows, and horses in Santa Barbara, California.
“Dori Carter’s We Are Rich is as compact, colorful and mysteriously artful
as a Mondrian. In other words, it’s a small miracle.”
–Bruce Wagner, author most recently of Memorial and The Chrysanthemum Palace
“[Dori Carter’s] insider’s view...reminds me of the pleasures of first reading John O’Hara and Fitzgerald on the same culture clash in another time not unlike our own.”
–Frank Pierson, screenwriter for Dog Day Afternoon and Cool Hand Luke,
and Artistic Director of American Film Institute
“…Dori Carter writes with the poise of a satirist who knows her subject all too well. Frighteningly, I found myself thinking I knew these people, so many of whom are making real headlines in our current boom gone bust. But that’s Carter's magic–writing with the authenticity of an insider but with the fresh, keen eye of a outsider…”
–Roger Horchow, author The Art of Friendship and Elephants in Your Mailbox
“Wise, funny, provocative and surprising - it reads like a great HBO series: characters interacting over generations in a community that just might be Santa Barbara/Montecito.”
–Philip Kaufman in San Francisco Chronicle’s Recommended summer reads
Santa Barbara Independent
“We Are Rich is Upstairs, Downstairs meets Rashomon meets Brideshead Revisited, all tied up into a neat little bedroom farce.”
Jewish Daily Forward Online
“Beneath the book’s magazine-like front cover is a story that is both gossipy-light and poignant; a sympathetic satire of old money and new money, Jews and Wasps, and time passing under the threat of the California wildfires.”
Santa Barbara News-Press
“A tale of 12 short stories that add up to a whole portrait of a city called Rancho Esperanza, which has many, many similarities to our own. The book examines what happens when the old, rich, white male enclave meets the nouveau riche, and the ordinary people caught in between.”
Planet Jackson Hole Weekly
“The stories [in We Are Rich] are fun to follow, with bite-sized climaxes in every one. Many of the characters re-appear, and the book spans many decades, to enable Carter to better wield suspense over her readers. She provides tiny morsels of much-wanted information at critical junctures in the book…Ultimately, the book is not only good for a laugh, but it will sate your appetite for gossip, mystery and sociology as well. With vivid, if curt, language Carter lets you easily imagine yourself enjoying a cocktail under an oak tree, listening to vapid people talk about how they travel, longing for your first love or having sex with a rich person’s spouse - pick your poison.”
Jackson Hole News and Guide
“Carter writes the way your best friend talks to you, so reading the book feels sort of like hearing some really juicy gossip.”
“Dori Carter’s social satire gets into the hearts and souls of her characters, and presents a fresh look at our attitudes toward money and the ever-shifting nature of status in America.”