Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Best Books of the Year | December 10, 2014

    Mary Jo Schimelpfenig: IMG Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi of 2014



    Here are the books that knocked my socks off in 2014. All of them would make great gifts; each of them was truly something that evoked that... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$10.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
6 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Girlchild

by

Girlchild Cover

ISBN13: 9780374162573
ISBN10: 0374162573
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

 

 

Excerpt

Girlchild

teeth
Mama always hid her mouth when she laughed. Even when she spoke too gleefully, mouth stretched too wide by those happy muscles, teeth too visible. I can still recognize someone from my neighborhood by their teeth. Or lack of them. And whenever I do, I call these people family. I know immediately that I can trust them with my dog but not with the car keys and not to remember what time, exactly, they're coming back for their kids. I know if we get into a fight and Johnny shows up we'll agree that there has been "No problem, Officer, we'll keep it down."
I know what they hide when they hide those teeth. By the time Mama was fifteen she had three left that weren't already black or getting there, and jagged. She had a long time to learn how to cover that smile. No matter how she looked otherwise, tall and long-legged, long brown hair, pale skin that held its flush, it was this something vulnerable about the mouth and eyes too that kept men coming back to her. The men would likely say this was due to her willingness to welcome them back, and Mama may have been an easy lay, but I'm cool with that because any easy lay will tell you, making it look easy is a lot of work. Still, no matter how fine she looked, especially after she got herself a set of fine white dentures for her twenty-fifth birthday, Mama never forgot how ugly she felt with those snaggly teeth. In her head, she never stopped being a rotten-mouthed girl.
It's the same with being feebleminded. No matter how smart you might appear to be later with your set of diplomas on their fine white parchment, the mistakes you made before the real lessons sunk in never fade. No matter how high you hang those documents with their official seals and signatures, how shining and polished the frame, your reflection in the glass will never let you forget how stupid you felt when you didn't know any better. You never stop seeing those gaps in your smile.
Copyright © 2012 by Tupelo Hassman All rights reserved

What Our Readers Are Saying

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

mdjjtap, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by mdjjtap)
Girlchild made me laugh and sob. A wonderful coming of age story that celebrates the bond and relationships between grandmothers and grandchildren. A memorial to Girlscouting is also part of the storyline. A fabulous first book by a gifted writer and storyteller. It moved me so much i wrote to the author.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Dawn Ottensmeier, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Dawn Ottensmeier)
Smart and resilient, Rory Dawn has a lot going against her but she also has a copy of The Girl Scout Handbook. Tupelo Hassman brilliantly weaves the lessons of the handbook into the compelling story of Rory in this coming of age debut novel.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Ella Blackwood, August 9, 2012 (view all comments by Ella Blackwood)
I loved this girl who survives the poverty and neglect of her childhood with strength, imagination, and a Girl Scout handbook.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374162573
Author:
Hassman, Tupelo
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Humorous
Subject:
Humor : General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Coming of age
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130205
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 2 bandw illustrations
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
Coming of Age

Other books you might like

  1. The Flame Alphabet
    Sale Hardcover $10.98
  2. What We Talk About When We Talk...
    Used Hardcover $9.95
  3. Wildwood Signed Edition
    Used Hardcover $14.95
  4. Minding Frankie Used Mass Market $4.50
  5. The Mark of the Angel Used Trade Paper $1.95
  6. Panama (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper $7.95

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Featured Titles » Arts
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction

Girlchild Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374162573 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Blighted opportunity and bad choices revisit three generations of women in a Reno, Nev., trailer park in these affecting dispatches by debut novelist Hassman. Narrator Rory Dawn Hendrix, 'R.D.,' is growing up in the late '60s on the dusty calle, where families scrape by on low-paying jobs and government assistance, everything is broken down, violence barely suppressed, babysitting shared, and 'uncle' is more often than not a euphemism for child molester. 'Smokey, Barney, Johnny Law, Pig, uncles with their badges, with their belt buckles, say, 'Hey Sugar, Toots, Sweet Thing, is your mama home?' hand already through the already ripped screen door, finger on the latch.' Teenage pregnancies dogged both R.D.'s capricious mother, Jo, a waitress with four grown sons, and grandmother Shirley Rose, an inveterate gambler employed at the keno ticket counter who couldn't keep R.D.'s grandfather from sexually abusing R.D. and her sisters, and told R.D. to 'keep her legs closed if she wanted to keep her future open.' As bad as it is, there's some hope that this girl, with her early aptitude at spelling, will escape the stigma of being 'feebleminded.' Poring over a secondhand copy of The Girl Scout Handbook, with its how-to emphasis on honor and duty, comforts R.D., especially when babysat by Carol, a brutalized neighbor girl, who leaves R.D. alone with her predatory father, 'the Hardware Man.' Hassman's characters are hounded by a relentless, recurring poverty and ignorance, and by shame, so that the sins of the mothers keep repeating, and suicide is often the only way out. Despite a few jarring moments of moralizing, this debut possesses powerful writing and unflinching clarity. Agent: Bill Clegg, WME Entertainment." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Girlchild is a devastating and hilarious portrait of poor white America. Tupelo Hassman's ruthless dissection of the laws, traditions, and values of a trailer park will leave you horrified and laughing uproariously. Hassman's novel is at once a ragtag anthem to the generations of single mothers raising their children on their own, a brilliant critique of the inadequacies of social services, and a colorful depiction of the extraordinary hurdles that children who break the cycle of poverty have to face. But mostly it is a description of the seismic transformations that happen within each of us as we fly the coop. Hassman's wildly inventive prose explodes off the page."
"Review" by , "This first novel is not like anything you or I have ever read. Something between a shocking exposé, a defiant treatise, a prose poem, and an exuberant Girl Scout manual, always formally inventive and bursting with energy, Girlchild will do nothing to disabuse you of the notion that lowdown trailer parks like this one outside of Reno jack up the birthrate and invite the sexual abuse of young girls if the innocents are left alone for even twenty minutes while an otherwise endearing grandma goes to play the slots. Yes, this is an insider's report confirming the worst you ever allowed yourself to think. And yet somehow Tupelo Hassman's book is also a testament to joy and beauty, and to the saving power of language wherever it gets a foothold. She has irrepressible high spirits, which in this case flow forth as brilliance and lyricism, even from the trailer park perspective. Tupelo Hassman loves life, including this life, in spite of everything, and you can't help loving this novel along with her."
"Review" by , "Beautiful....Ms. Hassman is such a poised storyteller that her prose practically struts. Her words are as elegant as they are fierce. A voice as fresh as hers is so rare that at times I caught myself cheering....I don't know about you, but I'd go anywhere with this writer."
"Review" by , "Girlchild...unfolds a compelling, layered narrative told by a protagonist with a voice so fresh, original, and funny youll be in awe. This novel rocks....In Girlchild Tupelo Hassman has created a character you'll never forget. Rory Dawn Hendrix of the Calle has as precocious and endearing a voice as Holden Caulfield of Central Park. When you finish this novel, your sorrow at turning the last page will be eased by your excitement at what this sassy, talented author will do next."
"Review" by , "The real pleasure of the book comes from following the wisecracking, tough and sensitive Rory as she struggles to survive and escape the sort of life no girl should have to lead."
"Review" by , "It's Rory's voice, as well as the offbeat ways in which she presents her coming-of-age story that make Girlchild so memorable....Rory is like a miniature Margaret Mead, observing and chronicling the life of the trailer park with an insider's knowledge and an anthropologist's detachment....It's a testament to Hassman's assurance as a writer that, even though we readers have the option of leaving, we hunker down in that trailer park with Rory for the long dry season of her youth."
"Review" by , "In Girlchild, Hassman's spunky, shy and almost accidentally intelligent heroine, Rory Dawn Hendrix, is living in a trailer park outside Reno, 'south of nowhere.' Her mother, Jo, is a truck-stop bartender prone to trusting the wrong men....The book's portraiture is vivid and hauntingly unfamiliar; Hassman's personal history matters less than the artistic care she takes here — and she takes a great deal of care."
"Review" by , "Tupelo Hassman's lyrical and fiercely accomplished first novel brings us three generations of Hendrix women washed up in 'the Calle'....In Hassman's skilled hands, what could have been an unrelenting chronicle of desolation becomes a lovely tribute to the soaring, defiant spirit of a survivor."
"Review" by , "Rory Hendrix will soon be a character readers around the country will know. She's the young heroine of Tupelo Hassman's debut Girlchild, a novel that drops us into her home in a Reno trailer park and invites us to be the only other member of her Girl Scout troop. With humor, warmth, and unflinching prose, Girlchild is a youth survival story of the very first rate."
"Review" by , "This is a gorgeous first novel, as humorous as it is heartbreaking. Some will see similarities between Hassman and National Book Award recipient Jaimy Gordon (Lord of Misrule), and fans of coming-of-age novels will fall in love with Rory's story."
"Review" by , "Hassman's debut gives voice — and soul — to a world so often reduced to cliché."
"Review" by , "In this inventive, exciting debut, Hassman writes a 1980s Reno trailer park into a neon, breathing world....Hassman's creatively-titled, short, free-form chapters are helium-filled imagination fodder, and Hassman takes what could be trite or unbelievable in less-talented hands and makes it entirely the opposite."
"Synopsis" by ,
A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice
 
Rory Hendrix, the least likely of Girl Scouts, hasnt got a troop or a badge to call her own. But she still borrows the Handbook from the elementary school library to pore over its advice, looking for tips to get off the Calle—the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother, Jo, the sweet-faced, hard-luck bartender at the Truck Stop.

Rorys been told she is one of the “third-generation bastards surely on the road to whoredom,” and shes determined to break the cycle. As Rory struggles with her mothers habit of trusting the wrong men, and the mixed blessing of being too smart for her own good, she finds refuge in books and language. From diary entries, social workers' reports, story problems, arrest records, family lore, and her grandmothers letters, Tupelo Hassman's Girlchild crafts a devastating collage that shows us Rory's world while she searches for the way out of it.

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.