Pamela Lu Pamela: A Novel (Atelos)

ISBN 13: 9781891190049

Pamela: A Novel (Atelos)

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9781891190049: Pamela: A Novel (Atelos)

Pamela Lu's Pamela: A Novel rocks. Lu manages to explore, critique, and worry about identity, location, self-expression, communication, shopping malls, orange dresses, and the future with glorious intelligence and laugh-out-loud humor, in the context of exquisitely wrought and very long sentences. One suspects that, like the character YJ, Lu "was always living and writing against a blind wall of cacophony that existed somewhere between plain sense and the din of cultural expectation and popular music." The narrator P (as well as her twenty-something friends L, R, YJ, C, A, and so on) thus occupies "the contemporary position of always being foreign to herself, a private predicament which necessarily played itself out on the public level, in the politics of making a literature that struggled to catch sight of itself, as if that could provide some assurance of its existence. We were using a borrowed language to add more words to our names . . ." Where do we draw the line between fiction and autobiography? Frankly, when reading Pamela, we could care less. The truth of this writing is in its extreme excellence: we need no more.

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About the Author:

Pamela Lu is also the author of Ambient Parking Lot and The Private Listener, a chapbook from Corollary Press. Additional writing appears in the anthologies Bay Poetics and Biting the Error, and in periodicals such as 1913, Antennae, Call, Chain, Chicago Review, Fascicle, and Harper's. She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.

From Publishers Weekly:

While the new sentenceAthe prose wing of Language writingAstrips narrative down to pointed sets of shifting referents, Lu, in her debut, knowingly resuscitates it, creating a precise and humorous elegy to the self, and to its self-subversions. This quasi-bildungsroman charts the emergence of an "I" (not "P" and not "Pamela," though the three characters do appear together) into a 20-something Bay Area, with memories of a suburban childhood close on her heels. Like those memories, familiar postmodern tropes such as professional/vocational, performance/authenticity, suburbs/city or butch/femme no longer establish identity or location, and Lu and her friends, "L," "R" and "YK" etc., can find no way to make it new: "And so in the midst of our contemporary lives we were in need of classical reassurance; we were always playing reels of old movies which we could fall into and fall in love, the way James Dean could tilt back his head under a geyser spout of black Texas oil and drink in that greasy rain of love and money with his entire body, only we could never be half as iconic or even half as campy." The "novel" of their lives progresses not because Lu resolves the relation between the professional and the vocational, or between love and the love-story, for instance, but because these micro-discourses, after rigorous and often hilarious consideration, get bound up in the poet's contingent "tone" (another dissected term), which in turn becomes the novel's revolving stage. This is a book of extraordinary philosophical subtlety and clarity, one that manages to tell a beautiful story in spite of itself. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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