by James McCourt, introduction by Wayne Koestenbaum
Diva Mawrdew Czgowchwz (pronounced “Mardu Gorgeous”) bursts like the most brilliant of comets onto the international opera scene, only to confront the deadly malice and black magic of her rivals. Outrageous and uproarious, flamboyant and serious as only the most perfect frivolity can be, James McCourt’s entrancing send-up of the world of opera has been a cult classic for more than a quarter-century. This comic tribute to the love of art is a triumph of art and love by a contemporary American master.
McCourt is the author of perhaps the best novel about opera.
— Publishers Weekly
McCourt makes brave comic choices, delighting in mythic celebrity while dissecting the ways it is made and sustained. Bravo! Encore!
— John Lahr
Bravo, James McCourt, a literary countertenor in the exacting tradition of Firbank and Nabokov, who makes his daringly self-assured debut with this intelligent and very funny book.
— Susan Sontag
Mawrdew Czgowchwz is a Zuleika Dobson of the opera world. James McCourt is an ecstatic fabulist, robustly funny and inventive, and touchingly in love with his subject. His novel is both special and precious, in the most honorable senses of those words.
A gloriously flamboyant debut. Take it in spoonfuls and you'll find passages to fall in love with. Sooner or later, you may even find yourself reading them aloud to your friends.
— Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times