Meet Tanya, Gwen, Emma, Mia, and Claire, five girls from the same hometown whose lives intersect under unforgettable circumstances. Tanya grows up with an abusive brother and a prostitute's daughter for a best friend. Across town, Gwen's teenage daydreams of being a supermodel are disrupted when her younger brother has a nearly fatal accident; later she flees to Madrid in an attempt to heal after being attacked in an alleyway behind a nightclub. Emma has a working single mother who, like all mothers in such circumstances, has difficulty controlling and protecting her daughter from the rough-and-tumble world in which they live. Mia, the woman who overcomes perhaps the most, loses her father to suicide and is tormented by a mentally ill neighbor who is obsessed with his death. Years later, she revisits these dark emotions when her childhood best friend is murdered. And, finally, Claire is the aspiring writer who as a child fears losing her family and then as an adult deals with her sense of loneliness and isolation by bartending in a nightclub.
Despite the dark nature of their stories, these girls are not defeated by their experiences. Their difficulties fortify them, make them push forward through their lives with great force and perseverance. Yet within their journeys through new cities and worlds, each of them still must overcome the internal struggle that inevitably happens when you have left where you are from, the place that defines you, and have settled somewhere all on your own.
Through these remarkable characters, Christina Fitzpatrick captures not only the anger and fear in being young and unprotected, but also the strength and compassion that unite all of us who have suffered and survived. In this dark, breathtaking work, Ms. Fitzpatrick's haunting prose elevates the female experience into a powerful, raw read.Where We Livedis both stunning fiction and the debut of a major new talent.
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Christina Fitzpatrick received her MFA in 1999 from Sarah Lawrence College. She has worked as a bartender for the past ten years. The author of Where We Lived, she has also taught writing at Iona College, Gotham Writers' Workshop, and Valhalla's Women's Prison. She currently teaches ESL in Rome and remains affiliated with Teachers and Writers Collaborative in Manhattan. She divides her time living in New York City and abroad.
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