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Personal Velocity

Miller, Rebecca

667 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0552999776 / ISBN 13: 9780552999779
Published by Black Swan
Used Condition: Good Soft cover
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About this Item

2003. New edition. Paperback. Clean copy in good to very good condition. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # KRF0000811

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Personal Velocity

Publisher: Black Swan

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:Good

About this title


Sexuality, compromise, fate, motherhood, infidelity, being single, wanting to be single, age, class, desperation and an overriding will to survive - Rebecca Miller brings it all in to play in her dazzling collection of short stories. She is superb at conveying the complexities, frustrations and simple triumphs of women's lives, bringing her seven eponymous heroines to life in these stories with a simple gesture or a turn of phrase. There's Greta, a smart but not, at first sight, ambitious New York editor who gets her big break and ends up editing her own life too, expunging her husband like a redundant paragraph. And the sassy and defiant Delia, whose means of empowerment is, it seems, to trade one abusive partner in for yet another lose. Or the child Nancy, who likes to see how long she can be in a room without her father noticing her. Nancy's record, to date, is one hour, seventeen minutes and thirty-four seconds...Told with wit, wisdom and an acutely perceptive eye, these are bite-sized slices of life that will strike a chord in every reader.


Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity offers a wry take on work, sex, and relationships in the lives of seven people in search of what it means to be a 21st-century woman. Sharp and intimate, these stories are a capsule wardrobe of contemporary American femininity, from off-the-peg urban identities prepackaged by a designer label to battered, homeless survivors whose lives are held together only by their own emotional stamina. Greta, a cookbook editor, dumps her husband for fame and pointy alligator flats; Louisa, an artist, squeezes out her lovers faster than paint from a tube; and pregnant Paula picks up a young hitchhiker on a rainy night.

Miller brings a clear and unsentimental eye to her characters, and pleasing brevity of style and compressed drama to her prose. Flawed and admirable, terrified and fearless, cavalier and overanxious by turns--the vagaries of personality are encompassed in this poised debut. Many a reader may catch a fleeting glimpse of her own contradictory reflections in Miller's intense snapshots of modern women. --Rachel Holmes,

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