The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Powell's Q&A | September 3, 2014

Emily St. John Mandel: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Emily St. John Mandel



Describe your latest book. My new novel is called Station Eleven. It's about a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel 9780385353304

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$22.95
New Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
3 Remote Warehouse Literature- A to Z
2 Remote Warehouse Literature- Family Life

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

by

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky Cover

ISBN13: 9781565126800
ISBN10: 1565126807
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

Heartbreaking in its honesty, this perfect jewel of a novel mirrors the real life of the author, who grew up biracial in Portland, Oregon, in the 1980s. After an accident claims her family, Rachel is sent to live with her grandmother in a predominantly black neighborhood. Rachel's confusion and frustration is palpable as she navigates through a new culture and new social norms. With flat-out gorgeous prose and pointed social commentary, this novel is an exquisite illustration of the beauty and ugliness of the human condition.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is that rare thing: a post-postmodern novel with heart that weaves a circle of stories about race and self-discovery into a tense and sometimes terrifying whole." Erin Aubry Kaplan, Ms. Magazine (read the entire Ms. Magazine review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This debut novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I. who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy.

With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring mixed attention her way. Growing up in the 1980s, she learns to swallow her overwhelming grief and confronts her identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.

In the tradition of Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, here is a portrait of a young girl — and society's ideas of race, class, and beauty. It is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice.

Review:

"Durrow's debut draws from her own upbringing as the brown-skinned, blue-eyed daughter of a Danish woman and a black G.I. to create Rachel Morse, a young girl with an identical heritage growing up in the early 1980s. After a devastating family tragedy in Chicago with Rachel the only survivor, she goes to live with the paternal grandmother she's never met, in a decidedly black neighborhood in Portland, Ore. Suddenly, at 11, Rachel is in a world that demands her to be either white or black. As she struggles with her grief and the haunting, yet-to-be-revealed truth of the tragedy, her appearance and intelligence place her under constant scrutiny. Laronne, Rachel's deceased mother's employer, and Brick, a young boy who witnessed the tragedy and because of his personal misfortunes is drawn into Rachel's world, help piece together the puzzle of Rachel's family. Taut prose, a controversial conclusion and the thoughtful reflection on racism and racial identity resonate without treading into political or even overtly specific agenda waters, as the story succeeds as both a modern coming-of-age and relevant social commentary." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Heidi Durrow is a wonderfully gifted writer who can summon a voice, a memorable character, with bold, swift strokes. [This] is a gem." Jay Parini, author of Promised Land

Review:

"It engages the heart as much as it does the mind...Unforgettable." Whitney Otto, author of A Collection of Beauties at the Height of their Popularity

Review:

"One of the most convincing, original, and moving novels in the distinguished canon of American interracial literature." George Hutchinson, author of In Search of Nella Larsen

Synopsis:

Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on their Chicago rooftop.

Forced to move to a new city, with her strict African American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way. It's there, as she grows up and tries to swallow her grief, that she comes to understand how the mystery and tragedy of her mother might be connected to her own uncertain identity.

This searing and heartwrenching portrait of a young biracial girl dealing with society's ideas of race and class is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice.

About the Author

Heidi W. Durrow has won the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition and the Chapter One Fiction Contest. She has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the American Scandinavian Foundation, and the Lois Roth Endowment and a Fellowship for Emerging Writers from the Jerome Foundation. Her writing has been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, the Literary Review, and others.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

contrabarbie, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by contrabarbie)
A novel that takes the reader on a fantastic journey of growing up in two different cultural worlds (aka the mixed experience), often made to choose one or the other. The protagonist's voice was absolutely compelling! I adored this book!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
nem, September 7, 2011 (view all comments by nem)
This book is absolutely beautiful. Heidi Durrow's prose is excellent as she slowly pulls the reader through the stream of her story, adding unexpected twists as she goes along. The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is short, yet perfect in length to tell Rachel's story.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
ireadalot, March 25, 2010 (view all comments by ireadalot)
I was pulled into this book because it won the Bellweather Prize for first time fiction with a social bent. Though I was not thrilled with Mudbound, another Bellweather Prize winner, I continued to have high hopes for this prize. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is better than Mudbound, its writing is more mature, it had less predicable characters and outcomes, and its voice was far more unique. But like Mudbound, it failed to serve up a satisfying end. (Other similarities to Mudbound; both are about black white relations, both deal with a relationship between a black man and his European lover/wife.) The Girl Who Fell From the sky tells the story from a more unique perspective - a mixed race child who has survived a brutal act by her mother, and it is told with a very unique voice, which ultimately is the books strongest aspect. This voice makes its characters believable, even though they are not fully flushed out. The weakness of the book is its ending, which feels rushed and weak, and asks readers to suspend their belief a bit too far.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781565126800
Author:
Durrow, Heidi
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Author:
Durrow, Heidi W.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Identity (psychology)
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20100231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.50x5.75x.90 in. .90 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Bloodroot
    Used Hardcover $3.95
  2. Saving Ceecee Honeycutt
    Used Trade Paper $4.50
  3. A Common Pornography: A Memoir
    Used Trade Paper $5.50
  4. Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron
    Sale Trade Paper $7.98

Related Subjects

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

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$22.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - English 9781565126800 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Heartbreaking in its honesty, this perfect jewel of a novel mirrors the real life of the author, who grew up biracial in Portland, Oregon, in the 1980s. After an accident claims her family, Rachel is sent to live with her grandmother in a predominantly black neighborhood. Rachel's confusion and frustration is palpable as she navigates through a new culture and new social norms. With flat-out gorgeous prose and pointed social commentary, this novel is an exquisite illustration of the beauty and ugliness of the human condition.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Durrow's debut draws from her own upbringing as the brown-skinned, blue-eyed daughter of a Danish woman and a black G.I. to create Rachel Morse, a young girl with an identical heritage growing up in the early 1980s. After a devastating family tragedy in Chicago with Rachel the only survivor, she goes to live with the paternal grandmother she's never met, in a decidedly black neighborhood in Portland, Ore. Suddenly, at 11, Rachel is in a world that demands her to be either white or black. As she struggles with her grief and the haunting, yet-to-be-revealed truth of the tragedy, her appearance and intelligence place her under constant scrutiny. Laronne, Rachel's deceased mother's employer, and Brick, a young boy who witnessed the tragedy and because of his personal misfortunes is drawn into Rachel's world, help piece together the puzzle of Rachel's family. Taut prose, a controversial conclusion and the thoughtful reflection on racism and racial identity resonate without treading into political or even overtly specific agenda waters, as the story succeeds as both a modern coming-of-age and relevant social commentary." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is that rare thing: a post-postmodern novel with heart that weaves a circle of stories about race and self-discovery into a tense and sometimes terrifying whole." (read the entire Ms. Magazine review)
"Review" by , "Heidi Durrow is a wonderfully gifted writer who can summon a voice, a memorable character, with bold, swift strokes. [This] is a gem."
"Review" by , "It engages the heart as much as it does the mind...Unforgettable."
"Review" by , "One of the most convincing, original, and moving novels in the distinguished canon of American interracial literature."
"Synopsis" by ,

Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on their Chicago rooftop.

Forced to move to a new city, with her strict African American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way. It's there, as she grows up and tries to swallow her grief, that she comes to understand how the mystery and tragedy of her mother might be connected to her own uncertain identity.

This searing and heartwrenching portrait of a young biracial girl dealing with society's ideas of race and class is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.