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Interviews | April 8, 2014

Shawn Donley: IMG Gabrielle Zevin: The Powells.com Interview



Gabrielle ZevinThe American Booksellers Association collects nominations from bookstores all over the country for favorite forthcoming titles. The Storied Life of... Continue »
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    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    Gabrielle Zevin 9781616203214

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Fourteen: Growing Up Alone in a Crowd

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Fourteen: Growing Up Alone in a Crowd Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The haunting story of a boy who couldn't find any room to breathe until he left his thirteen siblings behind and withdrew to the world inside his head--only to emerge forty years later, still alone.

Born eighth in a family on its way to becoming almost twice that size, Stephen Zanichkowsky immediately learned that his life was to be no Cheaper by the Dozen romp. Instead, he and his siblings fended for themselves to avoid the wrath of their father and the heartbreaking emotional distance of their mother. Silence and terror ruled. A brother was taken away by the family one day, never to return. A sister was born with a mental deficiency that was never explained. As the years went by, each child left home as soon as he or she turned eighteen, creating unaccustomed "space" by skipping the others' weddings and graduations.

With artless narrative style, Zanichkowsky embarks on a journey back to the family's Lithuanian Catholic roots in Brooklyn and follows its members on a tortured climb to suburban comfort that, for him, culminates in his escape from home and the draft. Along the way, he seeks answers to lifelong questions: Why was his father so angry and uncontrollable? Why did his parents continue to have children when they didn't have enough love, patience, or money to spread around?

Forty years later after leaving home, Zanichkowsky reaches out to his siblings--most of them divorced or living alone--and discovers a group of people still learning how to form relationships with others. In the process, the boy that once retreated into his own world emerges, whole and self-possessed.

Review:

"Brutally frank and completely engrossing." Kirkus

Review:

"In the struggle to understand, Stephen Zanichkowsky has brought poetry to a disturbing tale of what it is like to grow up without joy." Sarah Payne Stuart, New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Incorporating voices of various brothers and sisters, [Zanichkowsky's] journey is meditative and absorbing, as he confronts the deepest fear of every child: what if Mom and Dad do not or cannot really love me...? He is effective at balancing the unhappy narrative with insights into the family's functioning as a whole, and his contested place in it." Greg Gestner, Ruminator Review

Product Details

ISBN:
9780465094011
Author:
Zanichkowsky, Stephen
Publisher:
Basic Books (AZ)
Subject:
General
Subject:
Childhood Memoir
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Biography-Childhood Memoir
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
General Biography
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20030531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 11 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Memoirs
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Energy » General

Fourteen: Growing Up Alone in a Crowd New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Basic Books - English 9780465094011 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Brutally frank and completely engrossing."
"Review" by , "In the struggle to understand, Stephen Zanichkowsky has brought poetry to a disturbing tale of what it is like to grow up without joy."
"Review" by , "Incorporating voices of various brothers and sisters, [Zanichkowsky's] journey is meditative and absorbing, as he confronts the deepest fear of every child: what if Mom and Dad do not or cannot really love me...? He is effective at balancing the unhappy narrative with insights into the family's functioning as a whole, and his contested place in it."
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