Craze, Galaxy By the Shore

ISBN 13: 9780802136879

By the Shore

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9780802136879: By the Shore
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Published to great international acclaim, Galaxy Craze's best-selling debut, By the Shore, launched a young actress into literary fame. In clear and sparkling prose, her novel evokes a fragile, bittersweet world of youth on the cusp of adulthood and "captures perfectly the hopes and hurts of childhood" (The New York Times Book Review). Twelve-year-old May lives in a less than thriving oceanfront bed-and-breakfast run by her single mother. Her life is filled with the frustrations and promise of youth, complicated by a loving if distracted young mother who strives to care for her two children without forfeiting fun and passion. May puts her faith in the things that elude her - her absent father, the London city life left behind, the acceptance of the popular girls who have boyfriends -- and wonders if her life will ever change. When a kindly writer and his glamorous editor come to lodge in the weeks before Christmas, opportunities are in the air. But then May's playboy father, estranged from the family for years, drops in and threatens to freeze the delicate new possibilities stirring in all their lives.

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Review:

Twelve is a dreadful age for almost any girl, with its nonstop insecurity and humiliation. But May, the heroine of Galaxy Craze's By the Shore, seems to suffer considerably more than her share of unhappiness. Ignored by the popular clique at school, dressed by her mother in retro-hippie fashions that are anything but cool, she's a virtual poster child for preteen angst. And if adolescence weren't enough of a burden, May must also contend with a big dose of familial angst. Her mother, Lucy, runs a none-too-successful guesthouse on the English coast. Young and single, she spends more time gossiping and party hopping than tending to May and her brother Eden. And this distracted maternal style has, alas, exposed our heroine to machinations of grown-up life, which she tracks with fascination and horror. Her single remaining pocket of naiveté involves her estranged father, whose return she eagerly anticipates--even after an unassuming writer begins to pay court to her swinging mom. But this dream, too, is crushed when the genuine item shows up: "This is what happens to hope: it gets smaller and smaller." By the Shore does contain some of the typical properties of a coming-of-age drama. But Craze, a first-time novelist and actress, writes with acute insight and sympathy, and she understands one of the great consolations of adolescence: that even the tiniest kernel of hope can be enough to generate almost boundless happiness. --Brangien Davis

From the Back Cover:

Profiled in Interview as a rising literary light even as she was launching an acting career in films by David Lynch and Woody Allen, twenty-eight-year-old Galaxy Craze now delivers a beguiling debut novel, By the Shore.

As direct and precise as a child's diary, By the Shore introduces the world of twelve-year-old May, who lives in a less-than-thriving oceanfront bed-and-breakfast run by her single mother. May's life is filled with the frustrations and promise of youth, complicated by a loving if distracted young mother who strives to care for her two children without forfeiting her own fun and passion. May puts her faith in the things that elude her-an absent father, the London city life left behind, the acceptance of the popular girls who have boyfriends, off-the-rack clothes, and matronly mothers who provide more than tea and toast at mealtimes-and wonders if her life will ever change. When a kindly writer and his glamorous editor come to lodge in the weeks before Christmas, opportunities are in the air. But then May's playboy father, estranged from the family for years, drops in and threatens to freeze the delicate new possibilities stirring in all their lives.

British-born and -raised Galaxy Craze writes with delicate confidence of the subtle-ties of childhood understanding and the tender workings of new relationships. By the Shore is a crystalline capturing of a modern romance and that fragile, bittersweet world of youth on the cusp of adulthood.

Galaxy Craze was born in London and moved to the United States with her mother at the age of ten. She received a B.A. from Barnard College and attended the NYU creative writing program on a full scholarship from The New York Times.

Praise for By the Shore:

"Galaxy Craze in her debut novel has created a haunting and bittersweet coming-of-age story that will linger with you long after you have turned the last page. Wonderful."-Fannie Flagg

"By the Shore is a beautifully realized evocation of a child's world, a glimpse into an experience not yet sufficiently explored: the life of a child of a child of the '60s. This book is entirely original, full of rich detail and a slant and quirky wit."-Mary Gordon

"Completely delightful!"-Fay Weldon

"Galaxy Craze has captured that delicate and painful moment in childhood when deciphering the muddled mysteries of adult life seems the key to survival. Her prose shimmers with truth and wisdom, her story with humor and surprise. By the Shore is a moving and tender debut."-Martha McPhee

"By the Shore is a book that creeps up behind and touches you, leaves you with the memory of that touch. It's a book that is both tender and vulnerable and also unflinching in the way it cuts through that tenderness, using a child's objectivity as a knife. Galaxy Craze portrays perfectly how children come to inhabit the dangerous, flamboyant world of adulthood, how they interpret the drama and dance of adult desire, how they learn its steps. The precision of the images are breathtakingly real, and access a poignant, flinty memory for the reader of what it is like to be twelve years old and uncertain, uncertain."-Kirsty Gunn

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9780871137463: By the Shore

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ISBN 10:  0871137461 ISBN 13:  9780871137463
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Pr, 1999
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