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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us



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Bohemian Girl (Flyover Fiction)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Young Harriets father sells her as a slave to settle his gambling debt with an eccentric Indian—and her story is just beginning. Part Huck Finn, part True Grit, Harriets story of her encounter with the dark and brutal history of the American West is a true original. When she escapes the strange mound-building obsession of her Pawnee captor, Harriet sets off on a trek to find her father, only to meet with ever-stranger characters and situations along the way. She befriends a Jewish prairie peddler, escapes with a chanteuse, is imprisoned in a stockade and rescued by a Civil War balloonist, and becomes an accidental shopkeeper and the surrogate mother to an abandoned child, while abetting the escape of runaway slaves.

A picaresque in the American vein, Terese Svobodas new novel is the Bohemian answer to Willa Cathers iconic My Ántonia. Lifting the shadows off an entire era of American history in one brave girls quest to discover who she is, Bohemian Girl gives full play to Svobodas prodigious talents for finding the dark and the strange in the sunny American story—and the beauty and the hope in its darkest moments.

Review:

"At the onset of the Civil War, in 'the Christian Year of Our Lord 1861,' a 12-year-old girl meets a bitter fate when her father loans her to an elderly Pawnee Indian to settle a debt. That the debt came from losing a foot race to the mouth of a river 'too thick to drink, too thin to plow' only makes matters worse. The girl joins other slaves and indentured servants who do an Indian Mound builder's work, spending their days hobbled, crafting heaps of sand, clay, and bone. But when she realizes that the Indian has no intention of releasing her as promised, she frees herself from her rawhide ties and heads east in search of her family. Calling herself Harriet, she narrates her grim odyssey in a poetic, convincing, but relentless voice. Still, Harriet's observations of the world and her small place in it are insightful and often touching. And Svoboda (Trailer Girl and Other Stories) often displays a poet's touch with language and imagery. Part of the University of Nebraska's Flyover Fiction series, edited by Ron Hansen. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Terese Svoboda is the author of five volumes of poetry and four novels, including Tin God (Nebraska 2006); a collection of short stories, Trailer Girl and Other Stories (available in a Bison Books edition); and a nonfiction book, Black Glasses like Clark Kent: A GIs Secret from Postwar Japan, winner of the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780803226821
Author:
Svoboda, Terese
Publisher:
Bison Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Flyover Fiction
Publication Date:
20110931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Bohemian Girl (Flyover Fiction) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 208 pages Bison Books - English 9780803226821 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "At the onset of the Civil War, in 'the Christian Year of Our Lord 1861,' a 12-year-old girl meets a bitter fate when her father loans her to an elderly Pawnee Indian to settle a debt. That the debt came from losing a foot race to the mouth of a river 'too thick to drink, too thin to plow' only makes matters worse. The girl joins other slaves and indentured servants who do an Indian Mound builder's work, spending their days hobbled, crafting heaps of sand, clay, and bone. But when she realizes that the Indian has no intention of releasing her as promised, she frees herself from her rawhide ties and heads east in search of her family. Calling herself Harriet, she narrates her grim odyssey in a poetic, convincing, but relentless voice. Still, Harriet's observations of the world and her small place in it are insightful and often touching. And Svoboda (Trailer Girl and Other Stories) often displays a poet's touch with language and imagery. Part of the University of Nebraska's Flyover Fiction series, edited by Ron Hansen. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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