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Drinking Closer to Home (P.S.)

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Drinking Closer to Home (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780061984020
ISBN10: 0061984027
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $7.50!

 

Staff Pick

Louise, Buzzy, Anna, Portia, and Emery: striking characters individually, but together they are an unforgettable family. Triumphantly dysfunctional, painfully hilarious. Jessica Anya Blau's new book, Drinking Closer to Home, is a rich portrait — wacky, outrageous, and surprisingly human — that ultimately pays homage to one of the odd treasures of family: the way dysfunction and love come together to create something uniquely one's own.
Recommended by Gigi Little, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Riveting and startling….So raw and funny I wanted to read parts aloud to strangers.” —Dylan Landis, author of Normal People Don't Live Like This

“Jessica Anya Blau…creates characters that have a lot more depth and more of a past than one often sees in fiction these days…. I found it impossible not to care about them—and equally impossible to forget them. Blau is a magnificent writer, and this is one special novel.” —Steve Yarbrough, author of Safe from the Neighbors

From Jessica Anya Blau, critically-acclaimed author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, comes a new novel of California, growing up, and learning to love your insane family. Perfect for fans of Jess Walter, Kevin Wilson, and Michael Chabon, Drinking Closer to Home is a poignant and funny exploration of one familys over-the-top eccentricities—a book Ron Tanner calls “heartfelt and hilarious.”

Review:

"Blau's second novel (after The Summer of Naked Swim Parties) revolves around a family in crisis after a mother's debilitating heart attack. The troubled adult children of Buzzy and Louise come home to visit their parents on their hippie ranch in Santa Barbara, Cal., 'where the days are so sunny you'd swear a nuclear reactor had exploded.' Sisters Anna and Portia, and brother Emery, recall the events that led them to their restless present. Emery and his partner, Alejandro, tip-toe around the topic of asking a sister to donate eggs so that they can have a child. During their week-long visit everyone must deal with uncomfortable details about their parents' personal lives, as well as the ghosts of the people they once were, wishing that they could leave their childhood wounds behind once and for all. Blau writes funny, often heartbreaking, and always relatable anecdotes. She aptly describes the family visiting Louise in the hospital: 'every day, a moment comes when someone can no longer take sitting in the beeping, stinking room.' Blau's lifelike characters are such a joy to get to know that one feels sorry to leave them behind. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

They say you can never really go home again. Adult siblings Anna, Portia, and Emery are about to discover just how true that is.

About the Author

Jessica Anya Blau is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Johns Hopkins University, where she received her master's degree. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where she teaches creative writing at Johns Hopkins.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Arthur Man, February 8, 2011 (view all comments by Arthur Man)
I read a lot. This book is unbelievably funny and moving and full of surprises. If you've ever thought your family was even slightly dysfunctional and you've wanted to laugh when you felt like having a breakdown over the millions of ways they drive you insane, you should read this book. This family is seriously messed up. They're brutal and relentless and mock each other mercilessly, but they're also so, so funny. I actually snorted out loud reading this book in the waiting room of my doctor's office. The writer makes me feel like a fly on the wall while she airs out every humiliating moment of her family's life. Though it's fiction, I can't help but wonder what her family thinks. I felt like I was snickering at a funeral. You've got to read this book. Then read the funny parts aloud to your friends on the phone. When you hear yourself repeating the outrageous things that come out of the character's mouths, you'll laugh even harder.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Arthur Man, February 8, 2011 (view all comments by Arthur Man)
I read a lot. This book is unbelievably funny and moving and full of surprises. If you've ever thought your family was even slightly dysfunctional and you've wanted to laugh when you felt like having a breakdown over the millions of ways they drive you insane, you should read this book. This family is seriously messed up. They're brutal and relentless and mock each other mercilessly, but they're also so, so funny. I actually snorted out loud reading this book in the waiting room of my doctor's office. The writer makes me feel like a fly on the wall while she airs out every humiliating moment of her family's life. Though it's fiction, I can't help but wonder what her family thinks. I felt like I was snickering at a funeral. You've got to read this book. Then read the funny parts aloud to your friends on the phone. When you hear yourself repeating the outrageous things that come out of the character's mouths, you'll laugh even harder.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
sbeaudoin, February 6, 2011 (view all comments by sbeaudoin)
Through this very funny and forthright look at an unusual family dynamic (actually far more usual than the family itself imagines), Blau has written a Santa Barbara morality tale. A present-day medical emergency forces three siblings to confront the ways in which their pre-seatbelt and bike helmet 70's upbringing has informed who they've become. The story, told in refreshingly clean prose (there is no overt cleverness to distract--Blau knows her story and its details are more than enough to keep our attention) is delivered from multiple perspectives. Each sibling gets their say on shared experiences, leading to a more compelling understanding of what otherwise might have been just comic set pieces. The juggled points of view are handled seamlessly, many chapters delivering the arc of a good short story. The episodic nature of the time frame also nests cleverly with a series of personal revelations, each shift revealing another portentous layer. Drinking Closer to Home is a lot of fun--too exact and specific to be entirely fiction, but too satisfying to be constrained by memoir.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061984020
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Blau, Jessica Anya
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Music
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20110118
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
7 x 5.5 x 0.49 in 6.32 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Travel » General

Drinking Closer to Home (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780061984020 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Louise, Buzzy, Anna, Portia, and Emery: striking characters individually, but together they are an unforgettable family. Triumphantly dysfunctional, painfully hilarious. Jessica Anya Blau's new book, Drinking Closer to Home, is a rich portrait — wacky, outrageous, and surprisingly human — that ultimately pays homage to one of the odd treasures of family: the way dysfunction and love come together to create something uniquely one's own.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Blau's second novel (after The Summer of Naked Swim Parties) revolves around a family in crisis after a mother's debilitating heart attack. The troubled adult children of Buzzy and Louise come home to visit their parents on their hippie ranch in Santa Barbara, Cal., 'where the days are so sunny you'd swear a nuclear reactor had exploded.' Sisters Anna and Portia, and brother Emery, recall the events that led them to their restless present. Emery and his partner, Alejandro, tip-toe around the topic of asking a sister to donate eggs so that they can have a child. During their week-long visit everyone must deal with uncomfortable details about their parents' personal lives, as well as the ghosts of the people they once were, wishing that they could leave their childhood wounds behind once and for all. Blau writes funny, often heartbreaking, and always relatable anecdotes. She aptly describes the family visiting Louise in the hospital: 'every day, a moment comes when someone can no longer take sitting in the beeping, stinking room.' Blau's lifelike characters are such a joy to get to know that one feels sorry to leave them behind. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , They say you can never really go home again. Adult siblings Anna, Portia, and Emery are about to discover just how true that is.
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