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Girlchild Cover

ISBN13: 9781250024060
ISBN10: 1250024064
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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

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Chris H, March 20, 2013 (view all comments by Chris H)
This is a beautiful tale of a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. The writing is almost magical in how well it is voiced and I found myself going back to re-read paragraph after paragraph just to enjoy how the words were put together. Yes, there is sadness and badness, but the fortitude of the characters makes for a delightful read. I read extensively and this is the best book that I have read in a long time. Run to Powell's for this one!
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Product Details

Hassman, Tupelo
Literature-A to Z
Coming of age
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
8.25 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
Coming of Age

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Related Subjects

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

Girlchild Used Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Picador - English 9781250024060 Reviews:
"Review" by , “A voice as fresh as hers is so rare that at times I caught myself cheering....I'd go anywhere with this writer.”
"Review" by , “So fresh, original, and funny you'll be in awe…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.”
"Review" by , “A lyrical and fiercely accomplished first novel....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 , “Moments of strange beauty enhance our sense of the Calle community….[Hassman] makes Rory's milieu feel universal.”
"Review" by , “Powerful…Rory transcends her bleak situation through dark humor and unaccountable smarts.”
"Review" by , “This amazing debut spills over with love, but is still absolutely unflinching and real.”
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