Thaddeus Rutkowski Haywire

ISBN 13: 9780984213313

Haywire

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( 16 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780984213313: Haywire
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Fiction. Asian American Studies. Thaddeus Rutkowski's deadpan, darkly funny third novel is comprised of 49 unsentimental stories narrated by the son of a Polish-American artist father and a Chinese-American mother. A bildungsroman with unexpected twists, the narrative spirals out from the insular life of a biracial teenager into a surrealistic, giddy page-turner once the narrator's obsessive fetishism begins to develop, and the reader is pulled along by the nose ring through a heady combination of literary and voyeuristic appeal. Our narrator eventually learns to get along with, even love, the people around him, but the feeling doesn't come easily. John Barth has called Rutkowski's work "tough and funny and touching and harrowing," and Alison Lurie has said that "Rutkowski is one of the most original writers in America today. Once you've read his low-key, continually surprising fiction, the world will look different to you--maybe just for an hour, maybe forever."

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About the Author:

Thaddeus Rutkowski grew up in central Pennsylvania and lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter. The author of the novels HAYWIRE (Starcherone Books, 2010), ROUGHHOUSE (Kaya Press, 1999) and Tetched (Behler Publications, 2005), he teaches fiction writing at the Writer's Voice of the West Side YMCA in New York and has taught at Pace University, the Hudson Valley Writers Center and the Asian American Writers Workshop. He has been the fiction editor of MANY MOUNTAINS MOVING magazine since 2007.

From Publishers Weekly:

These flash stories are mostly gems. Each but a few pages long, they are further broken into tiny bits, each a moment of observation or action narrated by a biracial young man (father is Polish-American, mother is Chinese-American) whose coming-of-age is divided into three parts. While many of these 49 stories have been previously published, when collected and presented chronologically, they maintain a consistent voice and arc that holds true through to a wobbly conclusion. Part one treats the narrator's childhood, dominated by his dad, a stern and misanthropic but loving role model, wrangling with an eye doctor after waiting a long time for an appointment, killing squirrels for dinner, driving a bookmobile. The narrator's college years, covered in part two, are comically lively and include drug mishaps, a trip to Mexico that's laughably far from hedonistic, and the loss of his virginity. Unfortunately, part three, his adult years, loses steam and feels much more scattershot. Unlike a lot of flash fiction, which tends to be built around a conceit or written toward a punch line, Rutkowski's best moments crackle unimpeded by self-consciousness. (Dec.)
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Thaddeus Rutkowski
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