Synopses & Reviews
"Those of us who love Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
will now have to make room next to it on our shelves for Joshua Gaylord's winning debut." —Brock Clarke, author of An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England
"Hummingbirds positively glistens with erudition and insight. Whether writing about prep school girls or the adult men who walk among them, Gaylord's stunning writing elevates his subject matter with equal parts humanity and elegance." —Jonathan Tropper, author of This Is Where I Leave You
In the tradition of Francine Prose's Blue Angel, Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, and Alan Bennett's The History Boys, Joshua Gaylord's Hummingbirds reveals the intertwining—and darkly surprising—relationships between secretive students and teachers at an all-girls prep school in New York City.
“Gaylord has delivered a story thats ripe with acute and wry observations on men and women, competition, sexuality, and secrets.” Library Journal
“HUMMINGBIRDS is a sly, charming novel about the students at a Manhattan girls school and the adults who sometimes remember to teach them. Joshua Gaylords winning debut.” Brock Clarke, author of An Arsonist & #8217;s Guide to Writers & #8217; Homes in New England
“Hummingbirds positively glistens with erudition and insight. Whether writing about prep school girls or the adult men who walk among them, Gaylords stunning writing elevates his subject matter with equal parts humanity and elegance.” Jonathan Tropper, author of This Is Where I Leave You
“Keenly plotted and psychologically acute, this novel thrums with deceptions great and smallwhat we dont tell each other, and what we wont admit to ourselves.” Ed Park, author of Personal Days
“The complicated web of loyalties, attraction, competition and camaraderie [in HUMMINGBIRDS] provides much tension as things play outbut not in an expected way. . . . Gaylords tale of overeducated men and the teenage students who exhibit the finesse and understanding their teachers lack hits all the right notes.” Publishers Weekly
“[A] winning debut . . . Lush language . . . A very grown-up novel about adolescence and the folly of adults, by an impressive new voice in American fiction.” Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Provocative and well written.” People StyleWatch
is a wonderfully compelling novel about the intertwining and darkly surprising relationships at the elite Carmine-Casey School for Girls on Manhattan's Upper East Side, where the rivalries and secrets of teachers and students intersect and eventually collide.
In the world of students, popular Dixie Doyle battles to wrest attention away from Liz Warren, who spends her time writing and directing plays based on the Oresteia. In the world of teachers, Leo Binhammer must now share his territory with Ted Hughes, the new English teacher who threatens Binhammer's status as sole owner of the girls' hearts. Seasons change and tensions mount as the students, longing for entry into the adult world, toy with their premature powers of flirtation. The deceptive innocence of adolescence becomes a trap into which flailing teachers fall, as the line between maturity and youth begins to blur.
About the Author
Joshua Gaylord received his master's and Ph.D. from New York University, specializing in twentieth-century American and British literature. For the past nine years, he has taught English at an elite Upper East Side prep school. He also teaches literature and cultural studies as an adjunct professor at the New School. He lives in New York with his wife, the Edgar Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott.