Natalie Serber Shout Her Lovely Name

ISBN 13: 9780544002210

Shout Her Lovely Name

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9780544002210: Shout Her Lovely Name
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A New York Times Notable Book

“Nuanced and smart . . . Serber knows that neglect or disconnect doesn’t always turn into trauma or damage. Life isn’t algebra. Which events lead to pain, and which to growth and awareness, remains unpredictable. The one reliable truth is that mistakes illuminate the most, albeit with fractured light.”
The New York Times Book Review

Mothers and daughters ride a familial tide of joy, pride, regret, guilt, and love in these acclaimed stories of flawed, resilient women. Wheat bread and plain yogurt become weapons in a battle between a teenage daughter and her mother. An aimless college student, married to her much older professor, sneaks cigarettes while caring for their newborn son. On the eve of her husband’s fiftieth birthday, a pilfered fifth of rum, rogue teenagers, and an unexpected tattoo has a woman questioning her place in her children’s lives. And we follow through two decades the family created when capricious, magnetic Ruby, an ambitious college student, becomes a single mother to cautious daughter Nora in 1970s California. Shout Her Lovely Name is a “funny, bittersweet” (Vanity Fair) book that announces the arrival of a stunning new writer.

“Powerful and disquieting . . . Serber writes with exquisite patience and sensitivity, and is an expert in the many ways that love throws people together and splits them apart, often at the same time.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Always, Serber's writing sparkles: practical, strong, brazenly modern, marbled with superb descriptions . . . Take my word: Shout Her Lovely Name will reach inside readers and squeeze. On second thought, don't take my word. Read these lovely stories.”
San Francisco Chronicle

www.natalieserber.com

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Review:

Natalie Serber on Shout Her Lovely Name

I had a dream last night about a geode. I was carrying it in my purse. It was the size of a coconut and I didn’t want to crack it open because I wanted to guard the feeling that I had unlockable wonder with me. I often feel this same tingly potential when I have a new book on my bedside table. All I have to do is crack it open to step into someplace new.

As a child, because my mother and I moved a lot, I sought friendship and solace in books. Reading novels and stories taught me that I was not the only kid who sometimes felt lonely and afraid, who longed for a swan or a babysister or a secret entrance through a wardrobe to a wild and amazing place. One of the beauties of literature is that you come to know your individual longings are universal; you are not isolated or strange...well maybe you are a little strange, but reading books teaches you that so is everyone else. You are not alone.

Writing does this for me as well. The characters in my stories are enmeshed in big precarious moments--breaking up, bringing home a new baby, caring for a sick child, leaving home. Each story offers potential for change and understanding; sometimes the characters take it, sometimes they don’t. Just like life.

I was a stay-at-home mom of two small children when I wrote my first published story, "This Is So Not Me." When I wrote the last story in the collection, "Developmental Blah Blah," my youngest was leaving home for college. That the writing of these stories spans such a swath of time is a gift. They explore lost pets, leaky pools, backseat groping, pregnancy tests, cocktail waitressing, unwelcome confessions, visiting in-laws, and middle-age tattoos. And this crazy-messy mix, big changes wrapped up in the gritty details of everyday family life, is where my stories dwell. It is my hope that when you read my book you’ll feel in good company.

Finally, while I relish the long luxurious soak a novel offers, staying with characters you come to know and care about for a stretch of pages, the great thing about a short story collection is that you’ve got multiple characters to meet and worlds to enter. Shout Her Lovely Name offers the best of both. Many of the stories follow the lives of Ruby and Nora, a mother and daughter growing up together, experiencing pride and disappointment, love and forgiveness. Their stories take you from Key West and New York City in the 1960s to Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area in present day. Other men and women populate the collection as well, and I hope you come to care about them all as much as I do.

A story collection is a virtual bag of geodes, each ready to crack open and reveal a sparkling new place.

Book Description:

HMH Hardcover, 2012Previous ISBN: 978-0-547-63452-4 

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9780547634524: Shout Her Lovely Name

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ISBN 10:  0547634528 ISBN 13:  9780547634524
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
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