Synopses & Reviews
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 husband's 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.
"Achingly true to life when it comes to the many ways mothers and daughters grow together and apart, over and over again." O, the Oprah Magazine
"Serber's writing sparkles." San Francisco Chronicle
"The characters are irresistible....Serber writes with exquisite patience and sensitivity, and is an expert in the many ways that love throws people together and splits them apart, often at the same time." Wall Street Journal
"Elegant....A terrific introduction to Serber's gifts, and hopefully a preview of good things to come." Kirkus Reviews
"Serber's stellar first collection packs an emotional wallop right from the start...sharp, somber, and sparkling commentary....As provocative as it is poignant, Serber's searingly honest depiction of the complex, contentious, and confusing bonds at the heart of all families heralds an exceptional new talent." Booklist (starred)
"An impressive debut, with insightful, sometimes painful truths about the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters." Library Journal
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"Nuanced and smart...Serber knows that neglect or disconnect doesn't always turn into trauma or damage. Life isn't algebra. Which events lead to pain, and which to growth and awareness, remains unpredictable. The one reliable truth is that mistakes illuminate the most, albeit with fractured light." The New York Times Book Review
A collection of stories about the complicated and powerful ties between mothers and daughters.
In this acclaimed collection written with “exquisite patience and sensitivity” (Wall Street Journal) mothers — from reluctant to exultant — ride a familiar tide of joy, pride, regret, guilt, and love in these stories of flawed, resilient women. Wheat bread and plain yogurt become weapons in a battle between a teenage daughter and her mother. 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 vodka, rogue teenagers, and an unexpected tattoo has a woman questioning her place in her children's lives. And we follow through two decades the family created when capricious, magnetic Ruby, an ambitious college student, becomes a single mother to cautious daughter Nora in 1970s California. Shout Her Lovely Name is a “funny, bittersweet” (Vanity Fair) book, that announces the arrival of a powerful new writer.
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. Shout Her Lovely Name is her debut book.
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
Take Your Daughter to Work 107
A Whole Weekend of My Life 129
Plum Tree 149
Rate My Life 165
Developmental Blah Blah 187