25 Books to Read Before You Die
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | Yesterday, 11:30am

Julie Schumacher: IMG Dear Professor Fitger



Saint Paul, August 2014 Dear Professor Fitger, I've been asked to say a few words about you for Powells.com. Having dreamed you up with a ball-point... Continue »
  1. $16.07 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Dear Committee Members

    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$3.95
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Ellen Foster

by

Ellen Foster Cover

ISBN13: 9780375703058
ISBN10: 0375703055
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $3.95!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Oprah Book Club® Selection, October 1997

"When I was young, I would think of ways to kill my daddy."

So begins Kaye Gibbon's debut novel, Ellen Foster, a powerful story told by the epononymous Ellen, an 11-year orphan whose violent father is responsible for her mother's suicide. Ellen is eventually taken out of her father's care and placed in a series of temporary homes — first with her grandmother, where she is made to toil in the fields as twisted payback for her father's brutality, and then with a neglectful aunt and her spoiled daughter, Dora. Told as a dual narrative, Ellen Foster follows the heroine's ordeals both chronologically and in reflection, and ends with her wish of a "new mama" fulfilled.

Review:

"What might have been grim, melodramatic material in the hands of a less talented author is instead filled with lively humor, compassion, and intimacy. This short novel focuses on Ellen's strengths rather than her victimization, presenting a memorable heroine who rescues herself." Alice Hoffman, The New York Times

Review:

"An exhilarating and endearing tale of an 11-year-old orphan, who calls herself 'old Ellen,' moving from one woebegone situation to another with spirit and determination." Arthur I. Blaustein, Mother Jones Magazine

Review:

"Gibbons has produced a warm and caring first novel about a backwoods child persevering through hard times to establish a new and satisfying identity. It is written with the freshness of a child but the wisdom of an adult." Library Journal

Review:

"The voice of this resourceful child is mesmerizing because we are right inside her head. The words are always flawlessly right....Thus does Gibbons persuade us, as few writers can, that even a terrible childhood can be a state of grace." The New Republic

Review:

"Ellen is all the more a dreadful child for being a sensible and perceptive one; she is a limited, rather than an unreliable, narrator and her eventual realisation of her racist patronage of her friend Starletta is a telling, if highly artificial, rebuke to adults even more limited, even less reliable." Roz Kaveney, New Statesman

Synopsis:

US

Synopsis:

"When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy. I would figure out this or that way and run it down through my head until it got easy." So begins the tale of Ellen Foster, the brave and engaging heroine of Kay Gibbons's first novel, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Institute of Arts and Letters. Wise, funny, affectionate, and true, Ellen Foster is, as Walker Percy called it, "The real thing. Which is to say, a lovely, sometimes heartwrenching novel. . . . [Ellen Foster] is as much a part of the backwoods South as a Faulkner character—and a good deal more endearing."

About the Author

Kaye Gibbons was born in Nash County, North Carolina in 1960. She graduated from Rocky Mount High School and continued her education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at Chapel Hill, she wrote her first novel, Ellen Foster, which reviewers and fans praised as an extraordinary debut. Eudora Welty said that "the honesty of thought and eye and feeling and word mark the work of this talented writer." Ellen Foster went on to win the Sue Kaufman Award for First Fiction from the Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as numerous other awards. The book has been widely translated and has gained wide course adoption.

Her second novel, A Virtuous Woman, was published in 1989 and also received wide praise in the United States and abroad. The San Francisco Chronicle called the book "a perfect little gem."

In 1989, Gibbons received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to write a third novel, A Cure for Dreams, which was published in 1991. This novel won the 1990/PEN Revson Award for the best work of fiction published by a writer under 35, as well as the Heartland Prize for Fiction from The Chicago Tribune and the North Carolina Sir Walter Raleigh Award.

Her fourth book, Charms for the Easy Life, was published in March 1993. It was a New York Times bestseller and prompted a Time magazine review to say, "Some people might give up their second-born to write as well as Kaye Gibbons." Her fifth book, Sights Unseen, was also a national bestseller. In 1996, Kaye Gibbons was the youngest writer ever to receive the Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a French knighthood recognizing her contribution to French literature.

Her next novel, On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon, will be published in the summer of 1998. Gibbons lives in North Carolina with her family.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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

emmejo, September 5, 2013 (view all comments by emmejo)
Ellen's life becomes unbearable after her mother dies. She can't handle her drunken father alone, and spends plenty of time away from home. But things don't get much better once she is out of his hands; she ends up bouncing from home to home, some better, some worse. She tries to keep her friends, particularly Starletta, who despite being poor and black, is Ellen's best friend, and family, but it is difficult. Finally she ends up in a wonderful foster home, where she finally feels like she can belong, but she is still haunted by harsh events in her past.

This book was a fast read; the language is simple, Ellen is an engaging character and the fast pace of the plot means something new is always happening. Unfortunately, this means we never get a solid sense of many of the characters and places, just a quick sketch. The author is also a little too experimental with narrative and punctuation, which made things unnecessarily unclear in some spots. There were times I was really wishing for quotation marks, because elements had run together in such a way that it took a re-read or two to figure out what was actually said.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375703058
Subtitle:
A Novel
performance Narrated:
Ruth Ann Phimister.
Author:
Kelman, Stephen
Author:
Gibbons, Kaye
Publisher:
Vintage
Location:
S.l.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Audiobooks
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Family saga
Subject:
Southern states
Subject:
Orphans
Subject:
Espionage
Subject:
Children of alcoholics
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Oprah's book club
Subject:
Children of alcoholics - Southern States -
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Series Volume:
v. 3
Publication Date:
19971105
Binding:
Undefined
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
15 chapter openers and line art
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
42 x 50 cm. +

Other books you might like

  1. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
    Used Mass Market $3.50
  2. The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other...
    Used Mass Market $3.50
  3. Bastard Out of Carolina Used Trade Paper $4.95
  4. A Virtuous Woman (Oprah's Book Club)
    Used Trade Paper $3.50
  5. Charms for Easy Life Used Mass Market $5.95
  6. A Cure for Dreams (Vintage... Used Trade Paper $4.95

Related Subjects

Children's » Oregon Battle of the Books
Featured Titles » Miscellaneous Award Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Ellen Foster Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 144 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375703058 Reviews:
"Review" by , "What might have been grim, melodramatic material in the hands of a less talented author is instead filled with lively humor, compassion, and intimacy. This short novel focuses on Ellen's strengths rather than her victimization, presenting a memorable heroine who rescues herself."
"Review" by , "An exhilarating and endearing tale of an 11-year-old orphan, who calls herself 'old Ellen,' moving from one woebegone situation to another with spirit and determination."
"Review" by , "Gibbons has produced a warm and caring first novel about a backwoods child persevering through hard times to establish a new and satisfying identity. It is written with the freshness of a child but the wisdom of an adult."
"Review" by , "The voice of this resourceful child is mesmerizing because we are right inside her head. The words are always flawlessly right....Thus does Gibbons persuade us, as few writers can, that even a terrible childhood can be a state of grace."
"Review" by , "Ellen is all the more a dreadful child for being a sensible and perceptive one; she is a limited, rather than an unreliable, narrator and her eventual realisation of her racist patronage of her friend Starletta is a telling, if highly artificial, rebuke to adults even more limited, even less reliable."
"Synopsis" by , US
"Synopsis" by , "When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy. I would figure out this or that way and run it down through my head until it got easy." So begins the tale of Ellen Foster, the brave and engaging heroine of Kay Gibbons's first novel, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Institute of Arts and Letters. Wise, funny, affectionate, and true, Ellen Foster is, as Walker Percy called it, "The real thing. Which is to say, a lovely, sometimes heartwrenching novel. . . . [Ellen Foster] is as much a part of the backwoods South as a Faulkner character—and a good deal more endearing."
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.