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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Nice Big American Baby

by

Nice Big American Baby Cover

ISBN13: 9780375412424
ISBN10: 0375412425
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $9.95!

 

Staff Pick

"While this is a difficult book to pin down or pigeonhole, it isn't a difficult book to marvel at or enjoy. Budnitz traffics in contemporary, global themes....Provocative, disturbing, wry, and just plain fascinating, Nice Big American Baby is some of the best new American short fiction I've read in years."
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

"While this is a difficult book to pin down or pigeonhole, it isn't a difficult book to marvel at or enjoy. Budnitz traffics in contemporary, global themes....Provocative, disturbing, wry, and just plain fascinating, Nice Big American Baby is some of the best new American short fiction I've read in years."
Recommended by Kevin Sampsell, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A blazingly original, profoundly moving new work of fiction by a writer whose world — and imagination — knows no boundaries. "I don't know what planet Judy Budnitz comes from," said Newsweek on the publication of her fiction debut, Flying Leap, "but I'm happy to have her. Tremendous...funny, dark, adventurous, slanted, and enchanted." These twelve astonishingly inventive stories — which take us into the heart of America and around the globe, from suburban backyards and swimming pools to war-torn streets and fallout shelters — are riveting, seductive, and impossible to forget.

In "Flush," a mammogram prompts a dark comedy of blurred identities between a mother and her two adult daughters. In "Elephant and Boy," a surrogate mother-and-son bond, tinged with the erotic, is formed when a philanthropist attempts to "civilize" a young elephant handler. "Nadia" sounds the depths of a young woman's complex feelings toward a friend?s mail-order bride from Eastern Europe. "Preparedness" — an Orwellian tale in Technicolor — imagines rapture in the wake of imminent apocalypse. And in "Where We Come From," a pregnant woman's many failed attempts to cross the border do not lessen her resolve to give birth on U.S. soil to a "nice big American baby."

Magical, poignant, often transcendent, these are virtuoso modern fables that mine our stores of hidden urges, misunderstandings, and blind passions, inviting us on a voyage through places and times at once deeply familiar and wondrously strange.

Review:

"Budnitz (Flying Leap; If I Told You Once) creates her own hybrid brand of stark, dystopian reality in this impressive collection, working an odd jumble of fantastical, historical and contemporary detail into stories that comment obliquely on the current state of human affairs. In 'Where We Come From,' a pregnant woman desperate to have her baby in America goes to great lengths to cross the border, waiting for years to give birth until her son 'fills her completely, his arms fill her arms, his legs fill her legs.' In 'The Kindest Cut,' the narrator discovers an old journal written by a surgeon during a war: blue and gray uniforms and a doctor's surgical techniques suggest the American Civil War, but the story takes a fantastical twist as the surgeon become obsessed with severed limbs. In the disturbing and seemingly futuristic world of 'Sales,' door-to-door salesmen are rounded up and kept in an unlocked pen from which they choose not to escape. Funny and sad at once, it's a kind of twisted love story in which a young woman's attempts to help are rejected: 'The salesmen don't know that I am trying to help them, they yell at me that I'm ruining business, standing in the way of normal commerce. The customer is always right! they scream.' Budnitz's first-person narrators are pitch perfect, helping the reader to see from their perspectives, no matter how odd it might be. These bizarre and masterfully crafted stories will thrill readers of literary fiction who hunger for an innovative American voice. Agent, Darhansoff, Verrill, Feldman. 6-city author tour. (Feb.) Forecast: Budnitz has quietly been making a name for herself, with stories in the New Yorker, Harper's and the Paris Review. This catchily titled collection should bump her up a few more notches." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"O. Henry-winner and novelist Budnitz shows major talent in her creation of a distinctive fictional world, ambiguous and complex." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Thank god that Judy Budnitz is Judy Budnitz and no one else, and that no one else is Judy Budnitz. This collection is singular and unforgettable and utterly affecting....Budnitz has a way of investing so much soul in her stories that you buy it all, completely and utterly, and you can't turn the pages fast enough. Judy Budnitz is one of the most consistently brave young writers we have." Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and editor of McSweeney?s

Review:

"Judy Budnitz can make the most fantastic landscapes credible, and the most ordinary events marvelous and strange. These amazing stories remind me a little of Flannery O'Connor, and mostly of no one; once you've read a Budnitz story, you can't mistake her for anybody else." Nell Freudenberger, author of Lucky Girl

Review:

"This is fiction that's fierce and true, hilarious and creepy, wise and graceful and occasionally very, very strange. The next time someone tells you the short story is dead, throw this book at them." Daniel Handler ("Lemony Snicket"), author of A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Basic Eight

Review:

"Judy Budnitz is a fabulist, a realist, a dystopianist, a social satirist, a humanist, and a teller of morality tales — sometimes all at once. Her stories defy genre. They are frightening and funny, chilling and sad, utterly unafraid to portray the human animal in all its glorious absurdity. Budnitz is a master of the unexpected, a virtuoso of the strange — and yet she is unfailingly astute in her portrayal of relationships between mothers and daughters, between men and women, between oppressors and the oppressed. These are astoundingly good stories; you will never forget them." Julie Orringer, author of How to Breathe Underwater

Review:

"Brilliant, heartbreaking, funny stories, by a writer who is political in the very best sense of that word, meaning: intensely aware of the value of even the least human heart, and that any one person's suffering belongs to us all." George Saunders, author of Civilwarland in Bad Decline

Review:

"Nice Big American Baby will take you through the rabbit hole to the other side — Judy Budnitz's side — where something strange, exciting, and unforgettable is sure to happen. The writing here is fearless, mixed with politics and magic, great wit and remarkable skill. Judy Budnitz is breaking new ground. Everyone should be reading this." Hannah Tinti, author of Animal Crackers

Review:

"Judy Budnitz's stories glow. This collection — brilliant, unpretentious and addictive — reconfirms that Budnitz is in a class by herself among today?s young literary writers. She manages what Kafka managed a century earlier: to craft small pockets of the universe both surreal and hilariously absurd, and from this to extract moving reflections into the very real core of our own emotions and fears, this time of family, politics and love. One day some generation of people will have to think of a new name for Budnitz's special brand of storytelling; in the meantime let's be grateful we get it first." Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club

Review:

"Budnitz is an engaging and talented storyteller. All 12 of [these] tightly woven tales...subtly draw the reader into their uncanny plotlines....Budnitz's stories are so compelling [because] she inspires you to wonder what her characters will do next, and always manages to send them veering in unpredictable directions." Julia Cosgrove, Time Out New York

Review:

"Budnitz’s stark, sardonic short stories are structured like fairy tales and tilt toward the macabre....At her best, Budnitz achieves the brilliant creepiness and frisson of Shirley Jackson; and in all her stories, her deadpan tone perfectly embodies the dehumanizing situations she so imaginatively and daringly dramatizes." Booklist

Synopsis:

Budnitz's 12 blazingly original new stories — riveting, seductive, and impossible to forget —' take readers from suburban backyards and swimming pools to war-torn streets and fallout shelters.

Synopsis:

Budnitz's 12 blazingly original new stories--riveting, seductive, and impossible to forget--take readers from suburban backyards and swimming pools to war-torn streets and fallout shelters.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

pebbeb, December 14, 2006 (view all comments by pebbeb)
When I first discovered Judy Budnitz's Flying Leap years ago, I wondered how she would ever follow up such an amazingly imaginative collection of short stories. But she has! This is her second collection of short stories and they are just as funny, dark, and creative. She puts me in mind of writers like Gogol and Bruno Schulz, who weave the fantastic into their works with such a naturalness that it does not come across as forced. I highly recommend this collection of stories (along with her first and her novel If I Told You Once).
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375412424
Author:
Budnitz, Judy
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Publication Date:
February 2005
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.94x6.04x1.15 in. 1.13 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Nice Big American Baby Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780375412424 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

"While this is a difficult book to pin down or pigeonhole, it isn't a difficult book to marvel at or enjoy. Budnitz traffics in contemporary, global themes....Provocative, disturbing, wry, and just plain fascinating, Nice Big American Baby is some of the best new American short fiction I've read in years."

"Staff Pick" by ,

"While this is a difficult book to pin down or pigeonhole, it isn't a difficult book to marvel at or enjoy. Budnitz traffics in contemporary, global themes....Provocative, disturbing, wry, and just plain fascinating, Nice Big American Baby is some of the best new American short fiction I've read in years."

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Budnitz (Flying Leap; If I Told You Once) creates her own hybrid brand of stark, dystopian reality in this impressive collection, working an odd jumble of fantastical, historical and contemporary detail into stories that comment obliquely on the current state of human affairs. In 'Where We Come From,' a pregnant woman desperate to have her baby in America goes to great lengths to cross the border, waiting for years to give birth until her son 'fills her completely, his arms fill her arms, his legs fill her legs.' In 'The Kindest Cut,' the narrator discovers an old journal written by a surgeon during a war: blue and gray uniforms and a doctor's surgical techniques suggest the American Civil War, but the story takes a fantastical twist as the surgeon become obsessed with severed limbs. In the disturbing and seemingly futuristic world of 'Sales,' door-to-door salesmen are rounded up and kept in an unlocked pen from which they choose not to escape. Funny and sad at once, it's a kind of twisted love story in which a young woman's attempts to help are rejected: 'The salesmen don't know that I am trying to help them, they yell at me that I'm ruining business, standing in the way of normal commerce. The customer is always right! they scream.' Budnitz's first-person narrators are pitch perfect, helping the reader to see from their perspectives, no matter how odd it might be. These bizarre and masterfully crafted stories will thrill readers of literary fiction who hunger for an innovative American voice. Agent, Darhansoff, Verrill, Feldman. 6-city author tour. (Feb.) Forecast: Budnitz has quietly been making a name for herself, with stories in the New Yorker, Harper's and the Paris Review. This catchily titled collection should bump her up a few more notches." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "O. Henry-winner and novelist Budnitz shows major talent in her creation of a distinctive fictional world, ambiguous and complex."
"Review" by , "Thank god that Judy Budnitz is Judy Budnitz and no one else, and that no one else is Judy Budnitz. This collection is singular and unforgettable and utterly affecting....Budnitz has a way of investing so much soul in her stories that you buy it all, completely and utterly, and you can't turn the pages fast enough. Judy Budnitz is one of the most consistently brave young writers we have."
"Review" by , "Judy Budnitz can make the most fantastic landscapes credible, and the most ordinary events marvelous and strange. These amazing stories remind me a little of Flannery O'Connor, and mostly of no one; once you've read a Budnitz story, you can't mistake her for anybody else."
"Review" by , "This is fiction that's fierce and true, hilarious and creepy, wise and graceful and occasionally very, very strange. The next time someone tells you the short story is dead, throw this book at them."
"Review" by , "Judy Budnitz is a fabulist, a realist, a dystopianist, a social satirist, a humanist, and a teller of morality tales — sometimes all at once. Her stories defy genre. They are frightening and funny, chilling and sad, utterly unafraid to portray the human animal in all its glorious absurdity. Budnitz is a master of the unexpected, a virtuoso of the strange — and yet she is unfailingly astute in her portrayal of relationships between mothers and daughters, between men and women, between oppressors and the oppressed. These are astoundingly good stories; you will never forget them."
"Review" by , "Brilliant, heartbreaking, funny stories, by a writer who is political in the very best sense of that word, meaning: intensely aware of the value of even the least human heart, and that any one person's suffering belongs to us all."
"Review" by , "Nice Big American Baby will take you through the rabbit hole to the other side — Judy Budnitz's side — where something strange, exciting, and unforgettable is sure to happen. The writing here is fearless, mixed with politics and magic, great wit and remarkable skill. Judy Budnitz is breaking new ground. Everyone should be reading this."
"Review" by , "Judy Budnitz's stories glow. This collection — brilliant, unpretentious and addictive — reconfirms that Budnitz is in a class by herself among today?s young literary writers. She manages what Kafka managed a century earlier: to craft small pockets of the universe both surreal and hilariously absurd, and from this to extract moving reflections into the very real core of our own emotions and fears, this time of family, politics and love. One day some generation of people will have to think of a new name for Budnitz's special brand of storytelling; in the meantime let's be grateful we get it first."
"Review" by , "Budnitz is an engaging and talented storyteller. All 12 of [these] tightly woven tales...subtly draw the reader into their uncanny plotlines....Budnitz's stories are so compelling [because] she inspires you to wonder what her characters will do next, and always manages to send them veering in unpredictable directions."
"Review" by , "Budnitz’s stark, sardonic short stories are structured like fairy tales and tilt toward the macabre....At her best, Budnitz achieves the brilliant creepiness and frisson of Shirley Jackson; and in all her stories, her deadpan tone perfectly embodies the dehumanizing situations she so imaginatively and daringly dramatizes."
"Synopsis" by , Budnitz's 12 blazingly original new stories — riveting, seductive, and impossible to forget —' take readers from suburban backyards and swimming pools to war-torn streets and fallout shelters.
"Synopsis" by , Budnitz's 12 blazingly original new stories--riveting, seductive, and impossible to forget--take readers from suburban backyards and swimming pools to war-torn streets and fallout shelters.
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