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Come From Nowhere Paperback – March 21, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Written with grace and perceptive intelligence, this story is humane, mysterious, tragic, compelling and beautiful.   Come From Nowhere is a gift to thoughtful readers."
Chuck Wachtel, author of the novels 3/03, The Gates, and Joe The Engineer

"Oh, how I love this book! Greenfield lyrically brings to life a New York of the 1970s that is also completely of today, a city that holds promise and danger in the palm of one hand. As these characters navigate its streets looking for belonging and stability, it's impossible not to root for them."
Allison Lynn, author of Now You See It


"Each of these endearing characters charts the rough seas of New York City in the summer of 1977 with grace and courage. The city itself, a metropolis teeming with opportunity, danger and surprise, emerges as both a character and a beacon in the darkness."
Natalie Danford, author of Inheritance


"In Come From Nowhere, Greenfield manages to evoke an entire city in her excellent and surprising depiction of six women who find their wake-up calls in the same dark moment. She's written a true love letter to New York City and all of its varied inhabitants."
Michael Dahlie, author of A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living

"With her tender, funny, and always imaginative prose, Greenfield reveals the roaring inner worlds of seemingly ordinary women. Mixing myth and reality, pleasure and pain, the playful and the somber, Greenfield turns a sweltering, semi-disastrous summer day into a wrenching tale of seven personal odysseys."
Elizabeth Gand, PhD

About the Author

Ellen Greenfield is a poet and novelist living in Brooklyn and Jefferson, NY with her husband and two extremely loving and wayward Bernese Mountain Dogs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: 3Ring Press (March 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979352762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979352768
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,450,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born and bred in Brooklyn, NY, Ellen Greenfield received her MFA from New York University's Creative Writing Program and her MA in Journalism from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications. Her previous books include House Dangerous, the first book about indoor pollution for the consumer, You Can Have an Easier Delivery, aimed at alleviating women's fear of childbirth, 100 Classics of Victorian Verse, an anthology, and SoupStrong, a cookbook of recipes for cancer patients. Articles, poems and short fiction have appeared in several publications.

Her recently published novel, Come From Nowhere, was a finalist in the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society's competition for Novel-in-Progress.

Ellen has taught writing at Goldwater Hospital, the Metropolitan Correctional Center and the Bayview Correctional Center, and is currently a writing mentor with the Visible Ink program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

She lives in Brooklyn and Jefferson, NY, with her husband and two slightly off-the-wall Bernese Mountain dogs.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Greenfield has created an incredible sense of time and place in this beautifully-written novel. I felt completely transported to that dark summer day in 1977 and into the lives of these amazing characters. So much to talk about here -- this would make a great book club read!
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Format: Paperback
This is a terrific book with amazing well-drawn characters that really captures something of what it was like to live in New York City in the 1970s. Like Colum McCann's national bestseller, Let the Great World Spin, Ellen Greenfield's Come From Nowhere sketches the bygone city through the eyes of a several disparate characters -- in this case, female characters who happen to be on the same subway platform one sweltering morning in the Summer of Sam. But these are not Sex in the City girls with money to burn on high-fashion shoes, but rather those for whom every subway fare and every morsel counts. In some ways, I loved the characters in Come From Nowhere like I love my children: Greenfield allows the reader to get to know each one very intimately with all her aspirations, faults and longings, and I found myself so involved that it was difficult to refrain from offering advice aloud as I watched them stepping (and sometimes stumbling) forward. Still, I'm so glad I got to meet them and hold their hands through New York's Great Blackout.
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Format: Paperback
I couldn't put this book down--actually, I forced myself to put it down in order to make it last longer. This is the best new work of fiction I've read in a long time. The book is rich with detail--the details of New York City in July 1977; the details of intricately woven personal histories. Anyone who has ever been alone and struggling in a seemingly heartless city will see herself in this novel. Anyone with the least bit of curiosity about other people's stories will be spellbound. Here are the stories of individual lives; stories handed down from mother to daughter, generation to generation; stories from Greek mythology and from Orthodox Jewish religious belief. The stories are various, personal, specific. The writing is fast-paced; at times, hallucinatory, poetic. The writer has many stories to tell and no time to waste.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I fell in love with the wonderful (& wonderfully-crafted) characters in this book. They are each made human by their vulnerabilities and divine through their dreams and aspirations, and soon you find yourself rooting for them to find their way on both real and figurative levels. Take the journey with them and feel their sorrows and joys as the lights, very suddenly, go out. A true, and timeless, New York tale comes alive in these pages.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The lives and stories of the women characters in this book are a reflection of who we as women were in the mid-seventies struggling with the daily chore of just living our lives free of the restraints we still faced in the post-feminism era. Whether we were single mothers trying to support our child/children, artists or chefs looking for a shot at that dream job, coping with a disability, breaking the chains of family obligations and expectations, finding oneself homeless...all of these challenges rise to the surface on this hot day in a city about to be plunged into darkness and chaos. I read this book twice. Once, as I always read books, I sped through it while on a long grueling plane ride, just because I could not wait to find out what happens to each character, and then I read it again and savored the sentences and scenes created by a true storyteller. That second time I found myself dropping into these characters' hearts and becoming emotionally involved with each one of them, even the mother rat whose job it was to rescue her babies from drowning in a dark subway tunnel that night. Was she the seventh character or was it the city itself...that was the only question I was left with which I'd like to pose to Ellen Greenfield's other readers. I highly recommend this book to any woman [or man] whether you have lived in New York City during the 1970's or not - - anyone who has held a dream that helped deliver you through those dark times we all face.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First an admission: I was there during the blackout of '77. I worked in Manhattan and remember that crazy summer. The Summer of Son of Sam. I was a brown-haired girl, a targeted group. I remember so many of the items in this book, it was like the author was writing from my life.

I really enjoyed the richness of the characters and the expansive view of the era. The screetch of the subway, the music of the time, the iguana on the top of the Lone Star Cafe. I felt that I had to put the brakes on in order to not read this book in one sitting, gulping it up.

Don't miss this one. It is really a great read.
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Format: Paperback
Seven women living in N.Y. during the summer black-out of 1977 struggle through the darkness to take back control of their own life. As you read this book you will meet these women and understand them. You will be in their corner cheering them on and back into their own light. These women will tug as your heart strings as they lead you through their dark night with remarkable courage and strength. Bravo Ellen Greenfield! A fabulous story with amazing characters. I truly loved this book......Bravo!
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