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THE POLLEN ROOM A Novel: Jenny, Zoe


Jenny, Zoe

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ISBN 10: 0684854589 / ISBN 13: 9780684854588
Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 1999
Used Condition: Very fine in like dj. Hardcover
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About this Item

First U.S. Edition. Hardcover. Translated by Elizabeth Gaffney. Signed by Jenny and translator Gaffney on the title page. This Swiss novel became an international bestseller. 8vo boards & cloth. Bookseller Inventory # 8081

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Simon & Schuster, New York

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very fine in like dj.

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First U.S. Edition.

About this title


In the half-lit world of a broken home, Jo grows up afraid of the shadows and desperate for company. By age seventeen, she has learned to build her own happiness, and her fantasies of love fuel perilous experiments with drugs and sex, and a search for the mother who abandoned her years earlier. Ultimately, it is Jo's revelation about her mother's own demons that brings a bittersweet reconciliation of childhood dreams and adult reality.


In Swiss writer Zoë Jenny's haunting debut novel, The Pollen Room, an absent mother poisons her daughter's world, down to its very air. Always on her way out the door, trailing scarves, hair, and discarded blossoms in her wake, Lucy is so distracted, unmaternal, and alluring that it's hard to say whether she makes things worse for the narrator--her daughter, Jo--when she's around or when she's gone. Jo never gives up hope for Lucy, meaning she gets endlessly pummeled. When Lucy takes off permanently with her lover Alois, abandoning her 5-year-old daughter to the reckless care of her father, Jo must spend nights entirely alone in the house while her father drives a delivery truck. For the adolescent girl, reunited with Lucy in Alois's house after his suspicious death, it is another deeper, fresher hell to watch her mother--at the first sign of recovered energy--begin to plan her escape into the arms of another new man. Jo, to the contrary, can't flee anywhere. She barely gets out of bed. Her landscape, though, is in constant motion--particularly when she's outdoors, or with Lucy.

"It would be pretty creepy up here alone at night, don't you think?" I asked her. She looked over at me as if I'd said something completely irrelevant, and suddenly the ground seemed to buck under my feet as if I were riding on the back of an unbroken beast. The sky threatened to open wide, and I felt the hardness of the earth beneath me. I tried to concentrate on the mole under the left corner of Lucy's mouth, but her face broke up into pieces as she leaned over me, peering into my eyes.
Translated from the German by Paris Review editor Elizabeth Gaffney, The Pollen Room charts Jo's suffocating life with an uncommon, unflinching eye. Time passes, and Jo's world simply does not rebuild itself. But readers will find their own worlds enlarged by the sustained lyricism and honesty in Zoë Jenny's writing. --Jean Lenihan

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Bert has been a full-time bookseller for over thirty years. He is a member of the New Hampshire Antiquarian Bookseller's Association, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) (since 1982) and the International Leaque of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). OUR SPECIALTY: Modern first editions - mainly American and English - many of the books being signed; poetry, poetry broadsides, and press books. We feature mainstream and genre fiction (e.g. contemporary literature, detective & science fiction), with emphasis on notable writers and literary prize-winners in both prose and poetry. ALL OUR FIRST EDITIONS ARE ALSO FIRST PRINTINGS unless noted otherwise. All dust jackets are protected in clear mylar covers, but our book pictures are taken without them to minimize glare.

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