Stupid Children is a story inspired by Katherine Dunn’s, Geek Love, and written in a voice similar to Donald Barthelme. Hilarious, offbeat, fast-paced and wildly imaginative, Zion, a doctor of psychology, imbues her characters with bizarre psychological abnormalities to create vivid, memorable eccentrics that leap from the page. With deadpan, wonderful ruminations on tattoos, the nature of coincidence, drug use, father-daughter relationships, mental illness, violence, and deviant sexuality, this novel is destined to become a cult favorite.
The legendary figure comes back! He continues to solve baffling cases in 7th century China, but at a faster pace.
Tales of Judge Dee is Zhu Xiao Di's debut in fiction. His other books include: " Thirty Years in a Red House, a Memoir ofChildhood and Youth in Communist China "(University ofMassachusetts Press, 1998, paperback from the same press, 1999, new edition by Penguin Books India, 2000) and" Father: Famous Writers Celebrate the Bond between Father and Child"(Pocket Books, 2000, contributing along with John Updike, Annie Proulx, Dean Koontz, Calvin Trillin, and others.)
"Boston Globe" calls his memoir 'a splendid lesson in 20th-century Chinese history," and "Library Journal" says it is 'engrossing and engaging."
“A delightful story. . . . Once you enter its pages and the worlds therein, it’s hard to leave.”—Carol Bicak, Omaha World HeraldNarrator Gladys Cailiff is eleven years old in 1938 when a worldly schoolteacher turns the small town of Threestep, Georgia, upside down. Miss Grace Spivey defies the traditional curriculum and racial boundaries alike, regaling her charges with readings from the Thousand Nights and a Night and casting a gifted African American student as "chief engineer" of the town's annual festival, newly reinvented as the Baghdad Bazaar. But her progressive actions are not without consequence and ultimately culminate in a night of death-defying stories that take readers on a magic carpet ride from a schoolroom in the South to the banks of the Tigris (and back again).
Eula, Idaho, is a cluster of steeples, oak trees, and boxlike homes sandwiched between golden fields and a wide-open sky. It freezes in the winter and bakes in the summer, but the air is so dry that neither extreme gets under your skin. It has never seen a battle, or an earthquake, or a Democrat in City Hall.
Still, life in Eula is anything but simple.
Lina and Connie are single mothers, neighbors in Eula's trailer park. Lina, the daughter of migrant Mexican farm workers, is trying to cope with her angry teenage son Jesús, newly returned after living with wealthy white foster parents. Connie, long abandoned, struggles with her literal reading of Old Testament laws against remarriage, especially when a handsome missionary visits her congregation. The women's younger sons, Enrique and Gene, are misfits whose mutual love of science offers stability and respite from schoolyard cruelties.
Determined to win the statewide science fair, Enrique and Gene devise an experiment involving "lake overturn," a real scientific phenomenon in which deadly gases collect and eventually erupt from a lake's depths. In their quest to discover if Eula could suffer from such an event, the boys come into contact with an odd assortment of locals, including the frail-hearted school principal with grand ambitions, a rich but lonely lawyer who finds love outside his marriage just as his wife is succumbing to cancer, and a woman tortured by a past of abuse and addiction who decides to turn things around by offering herself as a surrogate mother.
With sweeping perspective and a Victorian wealth of character, Lake Overturn exposes small-town America in all its beauty and treachery, sunshine and secrets.
Certainly a number of Rito's inhabitants--fewer than a hundred in all--are surprised to be living here. Red Ray, for instance, a wildly alcoholic lawyer who bought a dilapidated Victorian mansion in an attempt to rehabilitate his marriage and regain the affections of his wife and young son. After destroying those hopes with a spectacular final binge, Red established a drunk farm, Round Rock, on the ruins. There, one day at a time, he follows his new, unexpected calling.
Many months after her husband decamped (almost immediately) for Los Angeles, Libby Daw still lives alone in their trailer, and finds herself even more rooted to the valley she dreams of escaping.
And there's Lewis Fletcher, a sometime graduate student whose keen intelligence is sorely tested by his erratic behavior and current predicament. Without exactly knowing why, and entirely against his wishes--or by default and sheer good luck--he finds himself placed in Ray's care at Round Rock.
As these people seek out or maintain their various niches in the valley, the peculiar history of the place asserts itself. An heiress descended from the original settlers, Billie Fitzgerald still acts as though she owns it all; devoted to her father and son, she obscures her mercurial emotions from even her closest friends. The past also returns with David Ibañez, whose family had harvested the groves for generations--and whose talents and secrets (and thus, he discovers, his future) are inextricably bound to the complex, close-knit town he thought he had left behind.
With insight matched with artistry, Michelle Huneven traces the emerging destinies of these characters as each of them struggles for peace and equilibrium, even happiness and love, against hapless, all-too-human frailty and circumstance.
A vivid evocation of landscape and community, Round Rock derives great power from psychological subtlety, and from affection for and profound understanding of lives strained or broken but on the mend. Fresh, remarkably mature, and constantly surprising, this astonishing debut wins both your trust and your heart.
From the Hardcover edition.
How Lumby has come to host a hot air balloon festival is a long story, but the town's residents are jumping right into preparations. But in the Lumby tradition, it won't all be blue skies and smooth sailing...