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Girlchild
by Tupelo Hassman

Overview - In this heart-stopping, original debut, Hassman tells the story of young Rory Hendrix, who is determined to get out of the Reno trailer park where she lives with her bartender mother and prove she's not the feeble-minded imbecile she's been labeled.  Read more...

 
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More About Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
 
 
 
Overview
In this heart-stopping, original debut, Hassman tells the story of young Rory Hendrix, who is determined to get out of the Reno trailer park where she lives with her bartender mother and prove she's not the feeble-minded imbecile she's been labeled.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780374162573
  • ISBN-10: 0374162573
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
  • Publish Date: February 2012
  • Page Count: 275


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Humorous

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-12-12
  • Reviewer: Staff

Blighted opportunity and bad choices revisit three generations of women in a Reno, Nev., trailer park in these affecting dispatches by debut novelist Hassman. Narrator Rory Dawn Hendrix, “R.D.,” is growing up in the late ’60s on the dusty calle, where families scrape by on low-paying jobs and government assistance, everything is broken down, violence barely suppressed, babysitting shared, and “uncle” is more often than not a euphemism for child molester. “Smokey, Barney, Johnny Law, Pig, uncles with their badges, with their belt buckles, say, ‘Hey Sugar, Toots, Sweet Thing, is your mama home?’ hand already through the already ripped screen door, finger on the latch.” Teenage pregnancies dogged both R.D.’s capricious mother, Jo, a waitress with four grown sons, and grandmother Shirley Rose, an inveterate gambler employed at the keno ticket counter who couldn’t keep R.D.’s grandfather from sexually abusing R.D. and her sisters, and told R.D. to “keep her legs closed if she wanted to keep her future open.” As bad as it is, there’s some hope that this girl, with her early aptitude at spelling, will escape the stigma of being “feebleminded.” Poring over a secondhand copy of The Girl Scout Handbook, with its how-to emphasis on honor and duty, comforts R.D., especially when babysat by Carol, a brutalized neighbor girl, who leaves R.D. alone with her predatory father, “the Hardware Man.” Hassman’s characters are hounded by a relentless, recurring poverty and ignorance, and by shame, so that the sins of the mothers keep repeating, and suicide is often the only way out. Despite a few jarring moments of moralizing, this debut possesses powerful writing and unflinching clarity. Agent: Bill Clegg, WME Entertainment. (Feb.)

 
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