Last Year's Jesus: A Novella and Nine Stories

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9780786886388: Last Year's Jesus: A Novella and Nine Stories
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Now available in paperback, a collection of interconnected stories by an award-winning writer with a distinctive voice and an unerring sense of place.

The stories in this affecting debut collection are populated by the sober, self-effacing members of Detroit's Polish-Catholic working class. Linked by place and characters, the stories create a world both familiar and strange, where religion is a way of life and traditions are carried down through the generations. But even this isolated community cannot remain immutable.

In these wonderfully poignant and witty stories based on people and places she knows well, Ellen Slezak documents the colorful clash of young and old, of religious and secular, of traditional values and the temptations of the flesh. Like Winesburg, Ohio, Last Year's Jesus creates a fully realized world teetering on the brink of change. Writing with tremendous empathy, warmth, and humor, Slezak brings to life the sights and sounds of a place she calls home--a place readers won't soon forget.

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Review:

In her collection Last Year's Jesus, Ellen Slezak seems to take an almost defiant interest in her bleak hometown of Detroit. Her stories are peopled by marginal folks--a widow who runs a junk shop, an 11-year-old girl often left at home alone, a man diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. The protagonist in "Here in Car City" opens a European-style pension in the inner city against all advice, and Slezak seems to share her character's perverse determination not to give up on this tough town and its tough people. Several Motor City themes weave together in the novella "Head, Heart, Legs, or Arms," set against the backdrop of the 1967 Detroit race riots. In a dark panorama that recalls Spike Lee's Summer of Sam, a young girl endures the riots as she follows the Tigers's pennant race on her transistor radio. Her older sister attends the University of Michigan, where a serial killer is stalking the co-eds; her younger sister lies dying in the hospital. Slezak captures the way historical events play out in ordinary life: "On the sixth day of the riots, Aunt Jenny made meat loaf for dinner. Mona watched as she mixed together sticky raw meat, egg yolks, bread crumbs, and chopped onion, which Mona particularly didn't like." Never mind the carnage; when you're 11, it's the onions that really get to you. --Claire Dederer

About the Author:

Ellen Slezak is the author of Last Year's Jesus. Her short fiction has been published in numerous literary journals. A native of Detroit, she currently lives in Los Angeles.

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9780786867417: Last Year's Jesus: A Novella and Nine Stories

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ISBN 10:  0786867418 ISBN 13:  9780786867417
Publisher: Hyperion, 2002
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Book Description Hachette Books, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Now available in paperback, a collection of interconnected stories by an award-winning writer with a distinctive voice and an unerring sense of place. The stories in this affecting debut collection are populated by the sober, self-effacing members of Detroit's Polish-Catholic working class. Linked by place and characters, the stories create a world both familiar and strange, where religion is a way of life and traditions are carried down through the generations. But even this isolated community cannot remain immutable. In these wonderfully poignant and witty stories based on people and places she knows well, Ellen Slezak documents the colorful clash of young and old, of religious and secular, of traditional values and the temptations of the flesh. Like Winesburg, Ohio, Last Year's Jesus creates a fully realized world teetering on the brink of change. Writing with tremendous empathy, warmth, and humor, Slezak brings to life the sights and sounds of a place she calls home--a place readers won't soon forget. Seller Inventory # APC9780786886388

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Book Description Hachette Books, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Now available in paperback, a collection of interconnected stories by an award-winning writer with a distinctive voice and an unerring sense of place. The stories in this affecting debut collection are populated by the sober, self-effacing members of Detroit's Polish-Catholic working class. Linked by place and characters, the stories create a world both familiar and strange, where religion is a way of life and traditions are carried down through the generations. But even this isolated community cannot remain immutable. In these wonderfully poignant and witty stories based on people and places she knows well, Ellen Slezak documents the colorful clash of young and old, of religious and secular, of traditional values and the temptations of the flesh. Like Winesburg, Ohio, Last Year's Jesus creates a fully realized world teetering on the brink of change. Writing with tremendous empathy, warmth, and humor, Slezak brings to life the sights and sounds of a place she calls home--a place readers won't soon forget. Seller Inventory # APC9780786886388

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Book Description Hyperion Books. Paperback. Condition: New. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.2in. x 0.7in.Now available in paperback, a collection of interconnected stories by an award-winning writer with a distinctive voice and an unerring sense of place. The stories in this affecting debut collection are populated by the sober, self-effacing members of Detroits Polish-Catholic working class. Linked by place and characters, the stories create a world both familiar and strange, where religion is a way of life and traditions are carried down through the generations. But even this isolated community cannot remain immutable. In these wonderfully poignant and witty stories based on people and places she knows well, Ellen Slezak documents the colorful clash of young and old, of religious and secular, of traditional values and the temptations of the flesh. Like Winesburg, Ohio, Last Years Jesus creates a fully realized world teetering on the brink of change. Writing with tremendous empathy, warmth, and humor, Slezak brings to life the sights and sounds of a place she calls home--a place readers wont soon forget. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780786886388

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