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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Shout Her Lovely Name

by

Shout Her Lovely Name Cover

ISBN13: 9780547634524
ISBN10: 0547634528
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Mothers and daughters ride the familial tide of joy, regret, loathing, and love in these stories of resilient and flawed women. In a battle between a teenage daughter and her mother, wheat bread and plain yogurt become weapons. An aimless college student, married to her much older professor, sneaks cigarettes while caring for their newborn son. On the eve of her husbands fiftieth birthday, a pilfered fifth of rum, an unexpected tattoo, and rogue teenagers leave a woman questioning her place. And in a suite of stories, we follow capricious, ambitious single mother Ruby and her cautious, steadfast daughter Nora through their tumultuous life — stray men, stray cats, and psychedelic drugs — in 1970s California.

Gimlet-eyed and emotionally generous, achingly real and beautifully written, these unforgettable stories lay bare the connection and conflict in families. Shout Her Lovely Name heralds the arrival of a powerful new writer.

Review:

"Serber's intense debut collection would have been better had every story, rather than most of them, traced Ruby Hargrove's evolution from daughter to mother, and her own daughter Nora's reactions to her questionable parenting. After an uneven opening story about a mother and her teenager daughter's eating disorder, we come to 'Ruby Jewel,' about a college girl reluctantly having drinks with her philandering, alcoholic father. As the plot progresses, Ruby gets pregnant, tries to make it work with the baby's father, and is finally abandoned when she changes her mind about adoption. So begins Ruby and Nora's life together, a blur of constant moving and a revolving door of men. Serber deftly puts the spotlight on key moments of Nora's upbringing: an adopted stray cat is thrown out for ruining Ruby's things; Nora's tough schoolgirl friends turn to Ruby for help ; Ruby flirts with Nora's older boyfriend. Serber's adroit turns of phrase and the short story format enhance the emotional intensity of familiar scenarios while keeping them from seeming rote, but the form has its pitfalls. An engaging story about a mother comforting an orphaned baby on a plane splits the book down the middle, and another stand-alone story ends it. Despite those stories' clear thematic ties to the collection as a whole, readers will miss Ruby and Nora." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"An impressive debut, with insightful, sometimes painful truths about the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters." Library Journal

Review:

"From the very first page, this extraordinary collection of short stories grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go. It is filled with poignant, thought-provoking observations on the delicate yet unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters. Serber has given readers a remarkable, heart-felt book to be savored, shared and passed on from one generation to another." Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

Review:

"As its title implies, Natalie Serber's collection Shout Her Lovely Name is a triumphant battle cry of hard-won victory over the stalemate and injuries between mothers and daughters. She leaves the reader amazed at the tenacity, tenderness, and truth of her characters." Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men are Gone

Review:

"Shout Her Lovely Name joins the ranks of the finest books ever to address relations between daughters and their mothers...equal parts love and sandpaper. I ached for these characters and cried at their hard-earned moments of joy. A book to make you marvel that someone really does understand, to make you grateful that she wrote it all down so fiercely, so tenderly." Robin Black, author of If I Loved You I Would Tell You This

Review:

"Coming of age is a painful and beautiful experience in Natalie Serber's hands. These are funny and poignant pieces, building a book that feels novelistic in sweep, yet true to the precision and direct aim of the short story. A real pleasure." Antonya Nelson

Review:

"In the complexities of family triumphs and catastrophes, Natalie Serber is always achingly specific. Between mothers and daughters, women and their lovers, she misses nothing, and in all her scenes, the reader feels the true breath of life." Charles Baxter

Review:

"In the tradition of Lorrie Moore and Tobias Wolff, Natalie Serber's stories uncover the secret hearts of seemingly ordinary people. Funny, heart-felt, and keenly perceptive, this is a book worth shouting about." Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply and Stay Awake

Synopsis:

A collection of stories about the complicated and powerful ties between mothers and daughters.

About the Author

Natalie Serber received an MFA from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Bellingham Review and Gulf Coast, among others, and her awards include the Tobias Wolff Award. She teaches writing at various universities and lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.

Table of Contents

Shout Her Lovely Name 1

Ruby Jewel 21

Alone as She Felt All Day 39

Free to a Good Home 57

This Is So Not Me 73

Manx 85

Take Your Daughter to Work 107

A Whole Weekend of My Life 129

Plum Tree 149

Rate My Life 165

Developmental Blah Blah 187

Acknowledgments 225

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

3girlsmama, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by 3girlsmama)
Natalie Serber's "Shout Her Lovely Name" is such a delight that I read it twice in 2012. With so much to read, it is rare that I ever read anything a second time, but this is truly worth it. Serber's characters are raw and real and beautiful. Meet her characters and be changed. She treats her characters, troubled and challenged as they are, with such compassion that even the most painful stories will fill you with hope.
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lilianxcheng, July 10, 2012 (view all comments by lilianxcheng)
Natalie Serber took me by surprise and sent me on a heartfelt journey of family ties in her debut short story collection, Shout Her Lovely Name. Serber’s prose reads like beautiful poetry, inviting the reader to fill in the story with its clues. Through these eleven character-driven, poignant short stories about mothers and their children, Serber displays versatility, humor, and tears. I am fully enamored with her writing, and pleasantly surprised that this is only her debut.

Writing
Serber experiments with writing structure in her first story about a mother struggling to help her daughter fight an eating disorder while her husband is in denial; it is written almost like an instructional manual combined with a monthly journal. I could imagine a mother documenting her exhausting journey with her anorexic daughter, whom she wants to hold on to. It is one of the brightest highlights, and one that I plan to reread.

Ruby and Nora
Throughout the book, we also encounter recurring characters, Ruby and her daughter Nora. Ruby is a teacher and single mother, and not the best mother since she often leaves Nora home alone while she seduces men for dates and gifts. Nora admires her mother and we see their relationship grow as she becomes an adult through figments. I liked reading their stories because they are the characters I feel most developed. I found myself reading the other stories slightly faster, just so I can meet Ruby and Nora again. Plus, Ruby is kinda funny�"even when she isn’t sober half the time.

“At the stop sign, Ruby tooted her horn, called a final “Bye, Beanie.” Then she turned the wrong way. Nora cried out, “Right, go right!,” but her mother with her terrible sense of direction was gone.”

-page 179 of Shout Her Lovely Name (uncorrected proof)

Oh, and there’s also this artist who has a crush on Nora and spews nonsense like he is the word’s deepest person. I couldn’t help smiling at his behavior.

“And this satire class, it’s so�"lower division. It’s like meta. Self-parody. My next piece is coming from that reductio ad absurdum talk. You know; like the lecture hall and the professorial professor, and you, so coed, and I’m this, like, visionary.”

-page 180 of Shout Her Lovely Name (uncorrected proof)

Ending
Since Shout Her Lovely Name is a collection of stories, it ends with the story Developmental Blah Blah, which I felt was the book’s lowest point. I have to say that this was one of the hardest books for me to finish because Developmental Blah Blah, just felt neverending. Every time I thought the story reaching its denouement I would turn the page to find more and more pages that seem to dwell on the minutiae. The tight, poetic prose I adored in the throughout the book backfired, and I felt the story dragging, pulling my energy down with it. I couldn’t hold my interest in the characters either, forgetting who each one was as soon as they were introduced. Cassie, the mother, sounded like a paranoid train wreck: she feels her husband doesn’t appreciate her, her children are growing up too fast, and she has romantic intentions towards her shrink. Every time I feel like I can grasp Cassie’s character, she loses me on another tangent. Perhaps it was because it was the last story that made me want to race to the end, but I felt Developmental Blah Blah could’ve been better placed towards the beginning; it just ended the novel on a sour note.

In many short story collections, the main problems I run into as a reader is the indistinguishable blur of under-developed characters and awkwardly abrupt endings, both of which were (to my pleasure) not found in Serber’s work. In the short span of a chapter, I could feel these characters beside me and their stories flow with every word. Surprisingly, each story seemed to be obliquely tied to next giving the reading an unexpected transition: a story that ended on a mother giving birth would lead to a story about a mother bringing her newborn son on an airplane, and a girl who liked baking in one story would lead to a scene about buying cupcakes in the next. It made me wonder if there was a hidden agenda in story order. Shout Her Lovely Name is one thought-provoking collection filled with complex, yet flawed characters waiting to be understood. It’s a book I will soon be revisiting.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780547634524
Author:
Serber, Natalie
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20120631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 b/w images
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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Shout Her Lovely Name Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - English 9780547634524 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Serber's intense debut collection would have been better had every story, rather than most of them, traced Ruby Hargrove's evolution from daughter to mother, and her own daughter Nora's reactions to her questionable parenting. After an uneven opening story about a mother and her teenager daughter's eating disorder, we come to 'Ruby Jewel,' about a college girl reluctantly having drinks with her philandering, alcoholic father. As the plot progresses, Ruby gets pregnant, tries to make it work with the baby's father, and is finally abandoned when she changes her mind about adoption. So begins Ruby and Nora's life together, a blur of constant moving and a revolving door of men. Serber deftly puts the spotlight on key moments of Nora's upbringing: an adopted stray cat is thrown out for ruining Ruby's things; Nora's tough schoolgirl friends turn to Ruby for help ; Ruby flirts with Nora's older boyfriend. Serber's adroit turns of phrase and the short story format enhance the emotional intensity of familiar scenarios while keeping them from seeming rote, but the form has its pitfalls. An engaging story about a mother comforting an orphaned baby on a plane splits the book down the middle, and another stand-alone story ends it. Despite those stories' clear thematic ties to the collection as a whole, readers will miss Ruby and Nora." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "An impressive debut, with insightful, sometimes painful truths about the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters."
"Review" by , "From the very first page, this extraordinary collection of short stories grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go. It is filled with poignant, thought-provoking observations on the delicate yet unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters. Serber has given readers a remarkable, heart-felt book to be savored, shared and passed on from one generation to another."
"Review" by , "As its title implies, Natalie Serber's collection Shout Her Lovely Name is a triumphant battle cry of hard-won victory over the stalemate and injuries between mothers and daughters. She leaves the reader amazed at the tenacity, tenderness, and truth of her characters."
"Review" by , "Shout Her Lovely Name joins the ranks of the finest books ever to address relations between daughters and their mothers...equal parts love and sandpaper. I ached for these characters and cried at their hard-earned moments of joy. A book to make you marvel that someone really does understand, to make you grateful that she wrote it all down so fiercely, so tenderly."
"Review" by , "Coming of age is a painful and beautiful experience in Natalie Serber's hands. These are funny and poignant pieces, building a book that feels novelistic in sweep, yet true to the precision and direct aim of the short story. A real pleasure."
"Review" by , "In the complexities of family triumphs and catastrophes, Natalie Serber is always achingly specific. Between mothers and daughters, women and their lovers, she misses nothing, and in all her scenes, the reader feels the true breath of life."
"Review" by , "In the tradition of Lorrie Moore and Tobias Wolff, Natalie Serber's stories uncover the secret hearts of seemingly ordinary people. Funny, heart-felt, and keenly perceptive, this is a book worth shouting about."
"Synopsis" by , A collection of stories about the complicated and powerful ties between mothers and daughters.
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