Synopses & Reviews
The glittering new book from the author hailed by the Chicago Tribune
as "unique, intriguing, and often hilarious."
Here are the events that make up a life: a junior-high-school fashion crisis, a best friend's betrayal, substance abuse, recovery, finding a satisfying career, dating fiascos, the perfect relationship, the illness and slow death of a parent. This is the life of Charlotte Anne Byers, told by Elizabeth Crane, whose debut, When the Messenger Is Hot, has been praised across the country for its humor and grace.
From the time she moved to New York as a young girl, desperate to tame her ridiculed southern accent, Charlotte Anne Byers has struggled to fit in even while her strong will makes her clash with everything and everyone around her. With her mother pursuing a career as an opera singer and her father returning to Iowa, Charlotte is caught in the divide between her parents' dreams. She finds a touchstone in Jenna, a friend who will be by Charlotte's side through the death of her mother, several failed career moves, even more failed romances, a detour into alcoholism, and finding true love. In her lifetime Charlotte finds hope and disappointment mingled with faith and desperation, laughter on the heels of weeping, and success assuaging the pain of the most embarrassing failures her path both all her own and instantly familiar.
All This Heavenly Glory confirms Elizabeth Crane's talents as the writer the San Francisco Chronicle called "hilariously off-kilter and utterly refreshing." With whimsy, skepticism, and undaunted emotional frankness, she paints a dazzling portrait of one woman's unique desires and heartbreaks.
"Crane has written that excruciatingly great book that begs you to inhale it in one sitting while at the same time trying to savor every knockout sentence. A" Karen Karbo, Entertainment Weekly
"Elizabeth Crane writes like a house on fire! The glorious leaping-and-bounding invention of crane's prose blazes through every episode of Charlotte Anne's life with ferocious, infectious, blow-the-fog-out-of-your-brain energy, the kind of real, vital connection that Charlotte Anne craves so ardently and fumblingly for so long is exactly the kind of connection that Elizabeth Crane makes with her readers on the very first page. It all just hits so close I'd burst out laughing, and then just keep laughing, at Charlotte Anne, at myself, at the world. Elizabeth Crane is like the best of Lorrie Moore, Elizabeth McCracken, Matt Klam and Anthony Lane rolled into one, with David-Foster-Wallace-rivaling, ever-meandering, ever-digressing, ever-illuminating, never-ending sentences that you keep falling so in love with you don't care if they never do end! (which is precisely how you will begin to think and talk upon reading ALL THIS HEAVENLY GLORY, which, by the way, is a wonderful title). Which is all to say, really, that I'd like to be best friends with anyone who feels as understood by this book as I do, but I have a feeling that's going to be more friends than any human being could reasonable manage." Thisbe Nissen, author of Out of the Girls Room
"All This Heavenly Glory is a diabolically addictive book whose mind-altering prose, a seamless blend of precision and playfulness, somehow manages to invoke both heartbreak and hilarity, all at the same time. Crane's indefatigable heroine, Charlotte Anne Byers, comes to us in alternating episodes, first as a seventies wise-child disfigured by decency and later as a wizened young woman so determined to claw through the wall of postmodern irony that she takes us all, blinking with bewilderment, into some new and uncharted territory beyond. A stupendous achievement." Marshall Boswell, author of The Trouble with Girls
Elizabeth Crane's debut, "When the Messenger Is Hot," was a sensation adored by critics all over the country. Now she returns with the flinty, irrepressible Charlotte Anne Byers, her unforgettable new heroine.
Charlotte Anne Byers is one gloriously flawed human being--a character in whom every reader will see herself reflected. The story of Charlotte's life--from her stint in the youth chorus of her mother's opera company to her battles with addiction, doomed love, and the burdens of familial duty--comes to us through Charlotte's most private thoughts, her most outrageous associations, her most wicked barbs, her most painful memories, her most honest revelations. This is fiction so intimate, so immediate, so involving that reading it is like making a new friend.
About the Author
Elizabeth Crane is also the author of the acclaimed story collection When the Messenger Is Hot. She lives in Chicago and is the recipient of the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library.