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Ms. Hempel Chronicles

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Ms. Hempel Chronicles Cover

ISBN13: 9780151014965
ISBN10: 0151014965
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ms. Beatrice Hempel, teacher of seventh grade, is new—new to teaching, new to the school, newly engaged, and newly bereft of her idiosyncratic father. Grappling awkwardly with her newness, she struggles to figure out what is expected of her in life and at work. Is it acceptable to introduce swear words into the English curriculum, enlist students to write their own report cards, or bring up personal experiences while teaching a sex-education class?
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum finds characters at their most vulnerable, then explores those precarious moments in sharp, graceful prose. From this most innovative of young writers comes another journey down the rabbit hole to the wonderland of middle school, memory, daydreaming, and the extraordinary business of growing up.

Review:

"A National Book Award finalist in 2004, Bynum returns with an intricate and absorbing collection of eight interconnected stories about Beatrice Hempel, a middle school English teacher. Ms. Hempel is the sort of teacher students adore, and despite feeling disenchanted with her job, she regards her students as intelligent, insightful and sometimes fascinating. Bynum seamlessly weaves stories of the teacher's childhood with the present — reminiscences about Beatrice's now deceased father and her relationship with her younger brother, Calvin — while simultaneously fleshing out the lives of Beatrice's impressionable students (they are in awe of the crassness of This Boy's Life). Though there isn't much in the way of plot, Bynum's sympathy for her protagonist runs deep, and even the slightest of events comes across as achingly real and, sometimes, even profound. Bynum writes with great acuity, and the emotional undercurrents in this sharp take on coming-of-age and growing up will move readers in unexpected ways. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

It just shows what context can do. Part of "Ms. Hempel Chronicles" was recently published in the New Yorker, in the issue with the infamous Obama cover. For me, I guess, that cover stained the contents of the magazine like ink in milk. I confess I found the excerpt to be smirky, supercilious, superior to its characters — detestable, in fact.

But when I opened this utterly charming... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

A funny, sharply observed look into the life of a teacher and another journey down the rabbit hole to the wonderland of middle school, memory, daydreaming, and the extraordinary business of growing up.

About the Author

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum's fiction has appeared in the Georgia Review and Alaska Quarterly Review. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn, New York. Madeleine Is Sleeping is her first novel.

Table of Contents

Contents

Talent 1

Accomplice 23

Sandman 49

Creep 75

Crossing 101

Yurt 123

Satellite 149

Bump 175

Acknowledgments 195

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

amabre, June 9, 2009 (view all comments by amabre)
These are stories taken from Ms. Hempel's (fictional) life as a child, a cool 7th grade English teacher, a friend and a fiance.

Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum's writing is beautiful and had me recalling several instances from my youth. She was so spot on with details. Such specific experiences and emotions that I was surprised to find other people have experienced (and I thought I was the only one...)

I also enjoyed Ms. Hempel's passion for literature. I love that she had her class read This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff.

I loved Ms. Hempel.I wish I could have had her as a teacher.

*If you like this I would suggest An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151014965
Author:
Bynum, Sarah Shun Li
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Author:
Bynum, Sarah Shun-Lien
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Self-actualization (psychology)
Subject:
Women teachers
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090918
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.44 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Ms. Hempel Chronicles Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Harcourt - English 9780151014965 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A National Book Award finalist in 2004, Bynum returns with an intricate and absorbing collection of eight interconnected stories about Beatrice Hempel, a middle school English teacher. Ms. Hempel is the sort of teacher students adore, and despite feeling disenchanted with her job, she regards her students as intelligent, insightful and sometimes fascinating. Bynum seamlessly weaves stories of the teacher's childhood with the present — reminiscences about Beatrice's now deceased father and her relationship with her younger brother, Calvin — while simultaneously fleshing out the lives of Beatrice's impressionable students (they are in awe of the crassness of This Boy's Life). Though there isn't much in the way of plot, Bynum's sympathy for her protagonist runs deep, and even the slightest of events comes across as achingly real and, sometimes, even profound. Bynum writes with great acuity, and the emotional undercurrents in this sharp take on coming-of-age and growing up will move readers in unexpected ways. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
A funny, sharply observed look into the life of a teacher and another journey down the rabbit hole to the wonderland of middle school, memory, daydreaming, and the extraordinary business of growing up.
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