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17: A Novel in Prose Poems

Liz Rosenberg

73 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 081264915X / ISBN 13: 9780812649154
Published by Cricket Books, 2002
Used Condition: Used: Good Hardcover
From Ergodebooks (RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: 17: A Novel in Prose Poems

Publisher: Cricket Books

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Used: Good

About this title


The first day of Stephanie’s junior year is a step into the underworld. Led into desire, depression, and alienation by the intoxicating yet strangely distant figure of Denny Pistill, Stephanie must cope with a series of fears and crises. Denny and Stephanie are drawn to each other through writing and reading poetry, and author Liz Rosenberg’s own poetic sense gives truth to Stephanie’s ability to make art out of the darkest things. Stephanie’s passage through an emotional winter, which echoes the myth of Persephone, ultimately brings her into a budding sense of life and hope. Written in short chapters in the style of prose poetry, this is an exquisitely crafted, emotionally honest novel for young adults from a prize-winning author.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 9 Up-At 17, but looking 14 with her slight, underdeveloped figure, Stephanie is "the girl" with long red hair who writes poetry and takes advanced classes at her Massachusetts high school. On the first day of her junior year, she attracts the eye of Denny Pistil, son of a rich attorney, who soon sweeps her off her feet with his interest in her poetry and his passionate attentions. He makes her wonder if she is "betraying- the world of her mother, the untouched, unscathed world of her self." Her mother works at home as a potter; her struggle with mental illness is an integral part of the family's life. Stephanie fears she may have inherited her mother's craziness in the guise of her own anxieties and her phobias about food. As the romance with Denny progresses, she fears pregnancy and feels a growing ambivalence about lovemaking. Denny begins to grow cold and distant, and Stephanie experiences symptoms of depression and anxiety when their relationship unravels over his nascent sexual attraction to a male friend. She recovers her hopefulness in the early spring as she begins a new friendship with Ben, who loves poetry and has the gift of putting her at ease. Rosenberg's sensitive writing is structured in complete sentences and paragraphs, like prose, with the figurative language and economy of word characteristic of poetry. Breaks are provided not by chapters, but by poem titles, to render a touching third-person narrative, enhanced by resonant images of nature and the changing seasons.
Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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