Synopses & Reviews
After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks."
But nothing is what it seems, and Glory's reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it's up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along....
"Prominent book designer Corral and adult author Anthony (The Convalescent) chronicle the descent of a teenage piano prodigy, telling her story completely through photographs, IM conversations, news clippings, and artwork. Seventeen-year-old Glory Fleming has been playing piano since age seven, but something happened to her mother sometime after Glory's first recital (Glory and her father's 'Merry Christmas 2000' holiday card, seen in a scrapbook, offers thanks 'for your support during this difficult year'). Years later, Glory's star is on the rise ads and brochures show her playing major venues worldwide but there are also signs that she's cracking under the pressure, including her growing obsession with the waltz 'Chopsticks.' When an Argentinean boy, Frank Mendoza, moves in next door, a passionate romance ignites. That's how it looks, anyway; small visual details slowly allow another narrative to develop. Unreliable narrators are a staple of literature, yet seeing deceits and red herrings laid bare in photographs and documents, rather than reading about them, makes the book's punches hit hard. An electronic version of the book, with audio and video, will be available simultaneously. Ages 14 up. Agent: Sterling Lord Literistic." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"...seeing deceits and red herrings laid bare in photographs and documents, rather than reading about them, makes the book’s punches hit hard." Publishers Weekly
"Spellbinding and inventive, this title will attract teens and compel them to reread and revisit each clue to the hauntingly ambiguous ending." School Library Journal, starred review
"Eerie and edgy—and effective as Poe." Kirkus
"Like the young artistic love it describes, Chopsticks is beautiful and strange and haunting. The story’s crooked path is made luminous by its extraordinary images." Junot Diaz
"Reading Chopsticks is like watching people kiss in the street: it’s private, it’s beautiful, it’s lonely, it’s wild, it’s secret, it’s everywhere and you can’t look away." Daniel Handler, author of Why We Broke Up
Glory is a young piano prodigy. Frank is the boy who moves in next door. Over the years, their friendship blossoms into an undeniable romance. As Glory descends from stunning piano prodigy into a kind of madness, Frank's love becomes more and more unshakable. They both become hopelessly fixated on the song "Chopsticks".
Part love story, part mystery, part visual collage, this novel is told through images as much as it's told through words. Ultimately the reader must decipher what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along.
Richly imagined by author Jessica Anthony and hauntingly designed by Rodrigo Corral, Chopsticks will rivet teens and adults alike on numerous platforms, including a gorgeous book and paid app for the iPhone and iPad, with many additional features.
About the Author
Jessica Anthony's debut novel, The Convalescent
, was published by McSweeney's Books and received abundant critical praise, was an ALA Adult Notable Book of 2009, and was a B&N Discover selection. Her fiction has also appeared in Best New American Voices, Best American Nonrequired Reading, McSweeney's, Mid-American Review, New American Writing, and elsewhere. She resides in Portland, Maine, and Iowa City, where she is currently an Iowa Arts Fellow at the Writers' Workshop.
Rodrigo Corral (www.RodrigoCorral.com) runs Rodrigo Corral Design and has designed covers for Junot Diáz and Chuck Palahniuk, as well as the New York Times bestselling books Decoded by Jay-Z, Classy by Derek Blasberg, and Influence by Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen. He has designed countless best sellers, won many, many design awards, taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and lectured around the country. Through it all, he remains deeply committed to transcending the visual possibilities in art, in culture, and throughout the universe.