In her dazzling first book Julie Orringer dives into the private world of childhood and immerses us in its fears and longings: the jealous friendships and the bitter sibling battles; the parents that row and the boys that won't dance with you. Then, in a voice that is equally tender and compassionate, she reminds us of those rare, exhilarating moments of victory.'Unbelievably good: the humiliations and cruelties and passions of childhood, sparkling fresh prose, a writer with a big heart and an acute sense of the small things that loom large in our lives' Monica Ali, Guardian
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The stories in How to Breathe Underwater, Julie Orringer's debut collection, swim with tragedies both commonplace and horrific. A fall from a treehouse, an ailing mother, a near-drowning, a premature baby, a gun--each is the source of a young woman's coming-of-age, which we witness through Orringer's lovely, driving prose. The author possesses an uncanny ability to capture scenes and complex emotions in quick strokes. In "Pilgrims," young Ella is taken to a hippie household for Thanksgiving, where her mother joins several other cancer patients in search of natural remedies: "Some of them wore knitted hats like her mother, their skin dull-gray, their eyes purple-shaded underneath. To Ella it seemed they could be relatives of her mother's, shameful cousins recently discovered." Shame is as omnipresent as water in this collection, sadly appropriate for stories about girls becoming women. Orringer possesses an acute understanding of the many rules of girlhood, in particular the uniquely childish importance of "not telling" (for fear of becoming a traitor, and consequently, an outcast). But though her subjects may take us to the murky depths--submerging us in the cruelties girls and siblings commit against each other--Orringer's nimble writing and subtle humor allow us to breathe. --Brangien DavisFrom the Back Cover:
“Intelligent, heartfelt stories that tell a whole new set of truths about growing up American. Julie Orringer writes with virtuosity and depth about the fears, cruelties, and humiliations of childhood, but then does that rarest, and more difficult, thing: writes equally beautifully about the moments of victory and transcendence.” –George Saunders
“Julie Orringer is the real thing, a breathtaking chronicler of the secrets and cruelties underneath the surface of middle-class American life. These are terrific stories–wise, compassionate and haunting.” –Dan Chaon
“In How to Breathe Underwater, Julie Orringer delves into the complex lives of girls and young women, and with uncommon courage and exceptional clarity she shows us what she finds: passionate, often disturbing feelings of longing and jealousy and grief; an intense struggle to make sense of the unfathomable world of adults, and above all a determination to survive. These are tough, beautiful stories, piercing and true, and they mark the debut of an exceptionally gifted writer.” –Ann Packer
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Descripción Penguin Books, 2005. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX014101508X