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GIRL IN LANDSCAPE

Lethem, Jonathan

2,840 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0385485182 / ISBN 13: 9780385485180
Published by DOUBLEDAY, 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Vagabond Books, A.B.A.A. (PASADENA, CA, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: GIRL IN LANDSCAPE

Publisher: DOUBLEDAY

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title

Synopsis:

Girl in Landscape finds Jonathan Lethem once again twisting forms and literary conventions to create a dazzling, completely unconventional tale that manages to move and amaze the reader at the same time.
In his new novel, Lethem blends elements as diverse as John Ford's classic Western "The Searchers" and Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita in an utterly unique way. The heroine is fourteen-year-old Pella Marsh, whose mother dies just before her family flees a post-apocalyptic Brooklyn for the frontier of a recently discovered planet. Hating her ineffectual father, and troubled by a powerful attraction to a virile but dangerous loner who holds sway over the little colony, Pella sets out on a course of discovery that will have tragic and irrevocable consequences for the humans in the community and the ancient inhabitants, known only as archbuilders.
Girl in Landscape is a daring exploration of the violent nature of sexual awakening, a meditation on language and perception, and an homage to the great American tradition of the Western.

Review:

Science-fiction writers attempting coming-of-age stories have seldom risked showing the stew of loneliness, anger, and angst that really characterizes adolescence. Jonathan Lethem, on the other hand, avoids the plucky sidekick syndrome and instead gives us breathtakingly realistic Pella Marsh, a girl at that awful and wonderful crux in her life just before people start calling her "woman." Her broken family has just moved to a newly settled planet, with strange and passive natives and the decaying remnants of a great civilization. Something in the alien environment soon enables Pella to telepathically travel, hidden in the bodies of inconspicuous "household deer," into the homes of her fellow settlers. She inevitably discovers the seamy side of humanity--loss of innocence eloquently portrayed. Don't read this book on a dark day, as there's not very much sunshine in here. The entire planet is covered with ruins: ruined towns, ruined hopes and dreams, ruined families. For a rare dose of SF realism, this is a fantastic read, full of raw (but not explicit) sexuality and the unhappy hierarchies of childhood. Forget about cheerful settlers moving in next door to helpful indigenous life forms. This is what the planetary frontiers will be. No matter how far away from Earth we may travel, we'll still be the same dirty, disappointing, beautiful monsters.

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