This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn

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9780810995505: This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn

The masterpiece of one of young-adult literature’s greatest living writers.” Booklist, starred review

Using a pillow book as her form, nineteen-year-old Cordelia Kenn sets out to write her life for her unborn daughter. What emerges is a portrait of an extraordinary girl who writes frankly of love, sex, poetry, nature, and, most of all, of herself in the world. As she attempts to capture all” of herself on paper, Cordelia maddens, fascinates, and ultimately seduces the reader in this tour de force from a writer who has helped redefine literature for young adults. A book not to be missed by any serious reader.

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About the Author:

Aidan Chambers is the author of the highly acclaimed sequence of young adult novels that began with Breaktime and continued through Dance on My Grave, Now I Know, The Toll Bridge, Postcards from No Man’s Land, and This Is All, the last in the sequence. Aidan has won numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the prestigious Hans Christian Anderson Prize for his body of work. He lives in Gloucester, England, with his American wife, Nancy. Visit his Web site at www.aidanchambers.com.

From Booklist:

With the publication of This Is All Chambers completes his ambitious, six-novel Dance sequence, which began with Breaktimein 1978 and also includes Dance on My Grave (1982), Now I Know (1988), The Toll Bridge (1995) and--most recently--the Carnegie and Printz Award Book Postcards from No Man's Land (2002). Each title is intended by the author to explore aspects of contemporary adolescent life, but none has been as ambitious, multilayered, or complex as the latest. Its premise, at least, is fairly straightforward. Nineteen-year-old Cordelia Kenn records the story of her life for the daughter with whom she is pregnant, planning to present it to the girl on her sixteenth birthday. The form Cordelia chooses for her tale is unusual: she is writing--or constructing--a pillow book (a la the tenth-century Japanese Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon), in which she not only records a narrative but also jots down poetry, ideas, observations, lists (she's a compulsive list-maker), musings, and more. Cordelia is such an acute observer and has such a lively, inquiring mind that, ultimately, her pillow book becomes six books. Each one has its own structure and narrative strategy. Book two, for example, is actually two stories--one fills the left-hand pages; the second, the right-hand pages. Readers must choose the order in which to read them. Some will complain about this; others will complain about the novel's great length. But the curious, the patient, and the adventurous will treasure the novel's challenges and savor its great rewards. Arguably, the book offers the most complete character study in all of young-adult literature, showing readers the life, mind, and soul of a teenage girl, while also giving readers full-dress portraits of her baby's father, her friends, her family, and--most satisfyingly--her English teacher and mentor, Julie. Cordelia records not only her love for these people but also for Shakespeare, for poetry, for words. Usparingly honest and candid, she never flinches from exploring the physical realities of her body or from recounting the sexually explicit details of her affair with an older man and her terrifying ordeal when she is kidnapped and threatened with rape. Cordelia records it all, because she wants to understand it all; she wants to know everything about herself, and her way of understanding is writing. Thus, she explores the why of things as well as the what and the how. In so doing, she's by turns captivating and maddening, for she loves to analyze and to discover ambiguities. And so her story challenges--but it will grow richer and larger with each reading. Ultimately, this novel is more than a mere piece de resistance; it is the masterpiece of one of young-adult literature's greatest living writers. Michael Cart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Book Description Amulet Books, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 000-489: Thick Heavy Trade Size Paperback with 821 pages. No Defects. A New, Unread Book. A beautiful, square, tight copy with clean, unmarked pages. Perfect Gift Quality. A masterpiece anthology, written in six segments of Cordelia's adolescent life, by turns funny, poignant, sad, exciting, fascinating ironic and truthful about topics that parents often do not tell their children. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 First U.S. Paperback Edition 2008. Published by Amulet Books, an imprint of Harry N. Abrams. Bookseller Inventory # 36185

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