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On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »
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The Isle of Youth

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The Isle of Youth Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Laura van den Bergs gorgeous new book, The Isle of Youth, explores the lives of women mired in secrecy and deception. From a newlywed caught in an inscrutable marriage, to private eyes working a baffling case in South Florida, to a teenager who assists her magician mother and steals from the audience, the characters in these bewitching stories are at once vulnerable and dangerous, bighearted and ruthless, and they will do what it takes to survive.

Each tale is spun with elegant urgency, and the reader grows attached to the marginalized young women in these stories—women grappling with the choices theyve made and searching for the clues to unlock their inner worlds. This is the work of a fearless writer whose stories feel both magical and mystical, earning her the title of “sorceress” from her readers. Be prepared to fall under her spell.

An NPR Best Book of 2013

Review:

"If ever there was a writer going places, it's Laura Van Den Berg, who follows up her debut collection, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, with the ambitious, modular The Isle of Youth, whose seven stories are arranged along the themes of family secrets with noirish intrigue. 'I Looked for You, I Called Your Name' concerns a couple's disastrous vacation in South America, where signs and portents stand in for the growing distance between them. These auguries are more literalized in 'Acrobat,' where another wife, jilted in Paris, takes up with the titular troupe of performers. The private detective sisters of 'Opa-Locka' embroil themselves in other people's business, only to be dragged back into their father's criminal past. Meanwhile, the sisters in the book's title story switch identities and get the full Chandler treatment, trailed by sinister town cars and mystery men. And there's always the missing family member that can't be completely grasped. In 'The Greatest Escape,' it's a young girl's magician father, protected by her mother's lies; in 'Antarctica,' it's an estranged brother, incinerated in an accident on the Antarctic Peninsula, leaving his sister alone in the frozen wastes with the secret that could have saved him. The Isle of Youth can seem a similarly immutable landscape, but Van Den Berg's repetitions never annoy; they enchant." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Laura van den Bergs debut story collection, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a finalist for the Frank OConnor International Short Story Award, a finalist for the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award, and long-listed for the Story Prize. Her stories have appeared in One Story, Conjunctions, Ploughshares, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008, and Best New American Voices 2010, among other publications. A Florida native, she has an MFA from Emerson College and is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize and scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers Conferences. She lives in the Boston area.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374177232
Author:
Van Den Berg, Laura
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Author:
Laura van den Berg
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20131131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
7.5 x 5 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Isle of Youth New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.00 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374177232 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "If ever there was a writer going places, it's Laura Van Den Berg, who follows up her debut collection, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, with the ambitious, modular The Isle of Youth, whose seven stories are arranged along the themes of family secrets with noirish intrigue. 'I Looked for You, I Called Your Name' concerns a couple's disastrous vacation in South America, where signs and portents stand in for the growing distance between them. These auguries are more literalized in 'Acrobat,' where another wife, jilted in Paris, takes up with the titular troupe of performers. The private detective sisters of 'Opa-Locka' embroil themselves in other people's business, only to be dragged back into their father's criminal past. Meanwhile, the sisters in the book's title story switch identities and get the full Chandler treatment, trailed by sinister town cars and mystery men. And there's always the missing family member that can't be completely grasped. In 'The Greatest Escape,' it's a young girl's magician father, protected by her mother's lies; in 'Antarctica,' it's an estranged brother, incinerated in an accident on the Antarctic Peninsula, leaving his sister alone in the frozen wastes with the secret that could have saved him. The Isle of Youth can seem a similarly immutable landscape, but Van Den Berg's repetitions never annoy; they enchant." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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