Synopses & Reviews
In 1997, at the distinguished Siddons School on Manhattan's Upper East Side, the school year opens with distressing news: Astra Dell, "that pale girl from the senior class," is suffering from a rare disease. Astra's friends try to reconcile the sick girl's suffering with their own fierce longings and impetuous attachments. They visit the hospital or make videos. Car writes unsparing letters to Astra, which the dirty Marlene, in her devotion, then steals. Other classmates carry on. The silly team of Suki and Alex pursue Will Bliss while the subversive Lisa Van de Ven makes dates with Miss Wilkes. The world of private schools and privilege in New York City is funny, poignant, cruel, and at its heart is a sick girl, Astra Dell, "the dancer with all the hair, the red hair, knotted or braided or let to fall to her waist, a fever and she consumed."
"Schutt's impressionistic style, with its extraordinary gift for exquisite economy...creates a mood and tone that are hauntingly unforgettable." Booklist
"Schutt's spare and artful prose strikes a balance between poignancy and cynicism." Library Journal
"[T]he spare prose, every word freighted with meaning, rewards repeated readings." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
CHRISTINE SCHUTT is the author of the short-story collections A Day, a Night, Another Day, Summer and Nightwork—named by the poet John Ashbery as the 1996 Times Literary Supplement (London) Best Book of the Year—as well as the novel Florida, a 2004 National Book Award Finalist. Schutt lives and teaches in New York City.
Table of Contents
The Girl No One Knows 1
Fa La Lah 53