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The Small Backs of Children: A Novel
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Harper 2015
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Description

National Bestseller

A masterful literary talent explores the treacherous, often violent borders between war and sex, love and art.

With the flash of a camera, one girl's life is shattered, and a host of others altered forever. . .

In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an icon for millions—and a subject of obsession for one writer, the photographer's best friend, who has suffered a devastating tragedy of her own.

As the writer plunges into a suicidal depression, her filmmaker husband enlists several friends, including a fearless bisexual poet and an ingenuous performance artist, to save her by rescuing the unknown girl and bringing her to the United States. And yet, as their plot unfolds, everything we know about the story comes into question: What does the writer really want? Who is controlling the action? And what will happen when these two worlds—east and west, real and virtual—collide?

A fierce, provocative, and deeply affecting novel of both ideas and action that blends the tight construction of Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending with the emotional power of Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Lidia Yuknavitch's The Small Backs of Children is a major step forward from one of our most avidly watched writers.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/07/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062383266
ASIN:
B00WR12L0W
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Lidia Yuknavitch. (2015). The Small Backs of Children: A Novel. Harper.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lidia Yuknavitch. 2015. The Small Backs of Children: A Novel. Harper.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lidia Yuknavitch, The Small Backs of Children: A Novel. Harper, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lidia Yuknavitch. The Small Backs of Children: A Novel. Harper, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:37:21
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:43:19
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Sep 12, 2021 08:16:14
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        Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the National Bestselling novel The Small Backs of Children, winner of the 2016 Oregon Book Award's Ken Kesey Award for Fiction as well as the Reader's Choice Award, the novel Dora: A Headcase, and three books of short stories. Her widely acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water was a finalist for a PEN Center USA award for creative nonfiction and winner of a PNBA Award and the Oregon Book Award Reader's Choice. She founded the workshop series Corporeal Writing in Portland Oregon, where she also teaches Women's Studies, Film Studies, Writing, and Literature. She received her doctorate in Literature from the University of Oregon. She lives in Oregon with her husband Andy Mingo and their renaissance man son, Miles. She is a very good swimmer.

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A masterful literary talent explores the treacherous, often violent borders between war and sex, love and art.

With the flash of a camera, one girl's life is shattered, and a host of others altered forever. . .

In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an icon for millions—and a subject of obsession for one writer, the photographer's best friend, who has suffered a devastating tragedy of her own.

As the writer plunges into a suicidal depression, her filmmaker husband enlists several friends, including a fearless bisexual poet and an ingenuous performance artist, to save her by rescuing the unknown girl and bringing her to the United States. And yet, as their plot unfolds, everything we know about the story comes into question: What does the writer really...

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title
The Small Backs of Children
fullDescription

National Bestseller

A masterful literary talent explores the treacherous, often violent borders between war and sex, love and art.

With the flash of a camera, one girl's life is shattered, and a host of others altered forever. . .

In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an icon for millions—and a subject of obsession for one writer, the photographer's best friend, who has suffered a devastating tragedy of her own.

As the writer plunges into a suicidal depression, her filmmaker husband enlists several friends, including a fearless bisexual poet and an ingenuous performance artist, to save her by rescuing the unknown girl and bringing her to the United States. And yet, as their plot unfolds, everything we know about the story comes into question: What does the writer really want? Who is controlling the action? And what will happen when these two worlds—east and west, real and virtual—collide?

A fierce, provocative, and deeply affecting novel of both ideas and action that blends the tight construction of Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending with the emotional power of Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Lidia Yuknavitch's The Small Backs of Children is a major step forward from one of our most avidly watched writers.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Suleika Jaouad, Lenny Letter
      • content: "Yuknavitch has emerged as a trailblazing literary voice that spans genres and dives deep into themes of gender, sexuality, art, violence, and transcendence."
      • premium: False
      • source: Paris Review
      • content: "I have never felt so wrung out by a novel and yet simultaneously invigorated...a terrifically good novel and powerfully written."
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Journal of Books
      • content: "This is a novel for the bold of heart."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Globe
      • content: "An intensely corporal, potently feminist, tenaciously written work as alert to animal resilience as to the capacity for bruised and battered suffering, for desire, for ecstasy."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: Advance Praise for THE SMALL BACKS OF CHILDREN
        "Yuknavitch is a gifted writer whose dizzying passages are often as compelling as they are grotesque."
      • premium: False
      • source: Vanity Fair
      • content: "Lidia Yuknavitch burns through sex, art, and war in The Small Backs of Children."
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Times
      • content: "Lidia Yuknavitch' s explosive new novel...is fierce in its vision, with captivating prose that carries its own momentum. Yuknavitch has created a reading experience that is uncomfortable and dazzling, with a vital intensity that grabs at the gutstrings."
      • premium: False
      • source: Huffington Post
      • content: "The Small Backs of Children beautifully examines the fractures of loss and the myriad ways we can recover from it. "
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal (starred review)
      • content: "Gorgeous, scary, and a breathtaking rush to read, this book is less a meditation than a provocation on the power and dangers of art."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Oregonian
      • content: "Lidia Yuknavitch's first novel for a big publisher is a big winner."
      • premium: False
      • source: Bustle Summer Reading Roundup
      • content: "If you want a novel that is going to swallow you alive this summer, turn to Lidia Yuknavitch whose The Small Backs of Children is the kind of book that goes straight for your heart and your mind...This one is important."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Rumpus.com
      • content: "The Small Backs of Children proves once again that Yuknavitch is witness to the kind of stories we ought to read."
      • premium: False
      • source: Entertainment Weekly
      • content: "[An example] of thrilling storytelling with universal appeal."
      • premium: False
      • source: Buffalo News
      • content: "Yuknavitch has a point of view and a fragmented and fractured visionary elegance in her poetic, allusive punk-infused voice. She grabs readers by the throats and immerses them in an intense, wrenching fictive world, but lets them up for air through careful structuring and pacing."
      • premium: False
      • source: Vol 1Brooklyn
      • content: "In the latest book from Lidia Yuknavitch, she delves into the aftermath of conflict and tragedy, showing how one image can impact the lives of numerous characters..."
      • premium: False
      • source: Portland Mercury
      • content: "Yuknavitch's writing style works in absolutes and blanket statements like large swaths of color on a canvas...if you ask me to follow Yuknavitch's plume into a raw, experimental work, I gladly will."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Nervous Breakdown
      • content: "The Small Backs of Children is deeply complex and layered, yet also deceptively simple...exquisite in its lyricism and its ability to articulate and amplify the experiences of suffering and survival."
      • premium: False
      • source: Bustle
      • content: "Lidia Yuknavitch's writing is a sizzle wire. Her fierce prose will jumpstart your heart and electrify your brain...and her new novel, The Small Backs of Children is a provocative and thrilling jolt of a book."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boats International
      • content: "...this story packs a powerful punch. It may sound heavy but, trust us, everyone is going to be talking about this book."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 25, 2015
        In this daring novel, Yuknavitch (The Chronology of Water) takes a provocative look at the intimate relationship among love, art, and sex in a group of emotionally scarred artists who want to save one of their own. Written in the voices of characters without first names—photographer, writer, poet, performance artist, playwright, filmmaker, and painter—the novel begins in modern Eastern Europe (likely Lithuania), occupied by an unseen force, where a photojournalist captures an award-winning shot: a young girl running from her exploding home, in which the rest of her family dies. The girl escapes into the woods, making her way to a widow’s home; the widow teaches her about art, and the girl begins to paint. Meanwhile, an American writer who is friends with the photographer, is hospitalized with severe depression. The writer’s best friend, a poet, believes she can help the writer; she enters the war zone to bring the orphaned girl to the United States. Yuknavitch’s novel is disturbing and challenging, but undoubtedly leaves its mark.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2015

        Gorgeous, scary, and a breathtaking rush to read, this book is less a meditation than a provocation on the power and dangers of art. It opens in eastern Europe with a news photographer taking a picture of a girl rushing from a house exploding behind her, killing her family. The photograph wins a prize, leaving its creator in turmoil, but it has momentous meaning for the writer, a friend of the photographer mourning a stillborn daughter. (Characters are referenced by their occupations only, which instead of seeming pretentious or depersonalizing effectively strips them to their essence.) When the writer ends up hospitalized, she's attended by her performance artist friend, her playwright brother (who scripts some of the scenes), and her filmmaker husband, so distraught he punches out his wife's ex-husband, a baldly self-serving painter. When the poet shows up, fresh from graphically depicted scenes at lesbian sex clubs in Europe, she insists that the writer can be saved only by bringing the girl in the photograph to America. VERDICT Showing us how people use one another in an irredeemably violent world where the creation of art is morally neutral but finally the whole point, Yuknavitch (Dora: A Headcase) has written a sensational book. [See Prepub Alert, 1/5/15.]--Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
A Novel
popularity
256
publisher
Harper
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