Qty:1
  • List Price: $12.99
  • Save: $1.30 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Blue Suburbia: Almost a Memoir Paperback – Deckle Edge, March 16, 2004


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, Deckle Edge
"Please retry"
$11.69
$0.01 $0.01
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "Landline" by Rainbow Rowell.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; First Edition edition (March 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060565632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060565633
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,551,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Albanese's moving if predictable hybrid volume tells the story of her life in verse. As she seems to recognize, this author's key experiences resemble those of many other women. Albanese survives a working-class Northeastern family with an abusive father and a clinically depressed mother, struggles through college into an unsatisfying job in publishing, then marries and moves to Chicago, where she becomes a troubled stay-at-home mom, raising a boy and a girl. Later, Albanese grieves at her mother's death, moves to New Jersey ("unhappy/ to be back in the suburbs"), enters therapy, and discovers self-confidence in part through writing this very book. Readers may cavil at Albanese's verse technique; here, for example, she views a Picasso: "nothing prepared me/ for the day I stood face-to-face with genius/ hearing the man's message/ screaming in my soul/ but afraid to say a word." Though Albanese's novel, Lynelle by the Sea, won praise for its fine descriptions, her memoir can seem unpolished and unexceptional compared to many recent prose competitors, from Beverly D'Onofrio to Lauren Slater (whom Albanese calls "a personal/ hero of mine"). Yet Albanese's experience, and the straightforward ways in which she describes it, may well resonate with many who have felt, in her words, afraid "of the very life/ being sucked/ out of me," trapped in endless familial obligations, and just "barely/ hanging/ on."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Laurie Albanese is the author of the novel Lynelle by the Sea and the memoir Blue Suburbia, which was named a Book Sense Best Book of the Year and was an Entertainment Weekly Editor's Choice selection.


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
10
4 star
2
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 13 customer reviews
The structure is unique and fresh.
L. Nicholas
This is a book that will make you laugh and cry while you're reading it and will stay with you for months and years after you turn the last heartbreaking page.
Pamela R. Satran
Well, I took home this book, started reading, and couldn't stop until i read it all, finishing it in a few hours.
Amarie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Nicholas on December 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started reading Blue Suburbia in bed, late one night. I read until my eyes were burning. I picked the book up again the next morning and sat outside with my coffee, reading until I reached the last page.

This book a marvelous break from same-old/same-old. The structure is unique and fresh. Albanese's judicious use of white space and line breaks forces the reader to pause and put emphasis in exactly the places she would have if she were speaking the words out loud. Her technique provides perfect timing.

The tone of the book is deeply personal, confidential really. The author's presence is palpable. You are pulled into her reality, listening to her share her life experiences over a cup of coffee, then she looks up at you and says, "So you see now why I forgave her?"... "...Do you get the picture now?" Her feelings resonate on the page.

I recognized some of the people in her world. The father who uses the belt to communicate and then, as an old man, edits his memories (an ex-husband's father). The cold, unhappy mother whose children would never be able to do the right thing, to make her happy (my friend's mother). And this (not using her spacing):

" Some folks say in the land of opportunity that the starting line doesn't matter, but let me ask, what was expected of you at fifteen? How wide was your horizon? Where were you destined? Who set the course? What were you told to dream of? How far was too far to imagine? What joy was yours to attain?"

I saw myself here. You can only appreciate how far you've come when you know where you started.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
I felt like Laurie Albanese was writing my story, and it's not one I've read before -- a look at growing up in blue-collar suburbia and the struggle, only sometimes successful, to get out. Her poem about riding to college with her parents is seared into my mind and heart forever. This is a memoir for every girl who grew up too smart for her family.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marcia McCullough on March 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
There are many books we've all read where the main character has endured many of the same things as are written about in Blue Suburbia. For some reason, however, that those same circumstances are written in free verse seems to make them slap a reader upside the head with the reality of it all. The language of Blue Suburbia is wonderfully sparse which, I think, emphasizes the actions...there are no flowery or minimizing adjectives or adverbs to take the sting out of the nouns and verbs. The word imageries linger long after closing the cover on Blue Suburbia.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
Laurie Lico Albanese has written a book of great beauty, which raises the quotidien and everyday to the level of great literature. In her final poem she asks, "Is anything ever truly ordinary?" and invites the reader to see their own lives in a new light. In her "almost-memoir" Albanese chronicles both the large and small events which shape her as a person, from her childhood in suburban working-class Long Island, to her initiation into sexuality, art, love and loss. Throughout, Lico has a brilliant eye for the telling detail, that make her poems breathe with life, even as she takes on the most compelling questions of existence. The reader's heart races along with Albanese as she experiences acute anxiety, crippling self doubt and crushing boredom. Her ability to experience life with such vivid force--from her overpowering love for her child, to her reignited passion for her husband, to her triumph as a writer--redeem her and reward the reader. That the arc of a life can be so well captured in a slim volume of free verse poetry, as accesible and haunting as a Bruce Springsteen album, is an incredible thing to behold.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Martin on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wow! I saw this book mentioned in a review in the USA Today magazine, picked it up, and stepped into a world of hurt and resilient, triumphant joy. Speaking as another "too-smart" girl who was also raised in a fractious blue-collar family out there in suburbia, I found this book to be authentic as well as lyrical.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
At first glance, the stuff of Laurie Albanese's "Blue Suburbia" doesn't initially strike one as poetic or artistic material. Yet, this free verse book reflects on her experience and provides a moving, memorable, and uncompromising appraisal of that time. She expresses her profound longing for something better, something more than what her family and neighborhood environment would ever offer her. From cover to cover, "Blue Suburbia's" raw energy, potent emotion, and determined belief in a better life is a compelling read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pamela R. Satran on November 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Laurie Lico Albanese's Blue Suburbia is one of the most vivid and magical memoirs I've ever read. I so related to Laurie and her experience growing up in the blue collar suburbs. Lines from the poems still reverberate for me, bringing back my own childhood and adolescence and often reminding me how I don't want to behave as a mother! This is a book that will make you laugh and cry while you're reading it and will stay with you for months and years after you turn the last heartbreaking page.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Search