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Herself When She's Missing: A Novel Paperback – June 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593764375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593764371
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,735,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Herself When She's Missing

"Poetic, heartrending, and sometimes even funny, Rosenblum’s first novel is an exceptional, unique portrait of love, obsession, and codependence." —Booklist

"Sarah Terez Rosenblum’s powerful novel is gentle and elegant. Her characters exhibit their wanton souls in a poetic way that never feels poetic, for they are as real-life as they are still-life;  they are breathing on the page, even." —Victor DeLorenzo, founding member of "Violent Femmes"

Herself When She’s Missing explores the irrationality of sex with uncommon wit and fearlessness.  I can never resist the story of a bad romance and this one grabbed me by the collar and dragged me through a love-sick mind's tilted, temporally disordered terrain. Don't forget to drink a glass of water and eat a protein bar before reading.  This book might leave you faint.” —Sara Levine, author of Treasure Island!!!

"Herself When She’s Missing is full of surprises, ingenious linguistic and typographical twists, but – far more important – the authentic feel of a young woman discovering herself and what she needs (and doesn’t need) in her life. This is a thoroughly delightful debut, full of energy and wit." —Rosellen Brown

“Sarah Terez Rosenblum's Herself When She's Missing marks the emergence of a riveting and beautifully strange new voice in American fiction. And Andrea and The Criminal Mastermind are unforgettable characters. I especially love Andrea because she jogs in cemeteries. The book made me feel more alive, I can't ask for much more from any novel.” —Peter Orner, author of Love and Shame and Love

"Herself When She's Missing collects and catalogues our only chances against everything rising like dark water to fill dining rooms and float away dishware.  Andrea, quick-smart and nimble, not gifted with farfetched impossible qualities like courage or willpower, counts off both what is and isn't required to make it to tomorrow.  Put her on all your lists and avoid the wrong side of hers." —Janet Desaulniers, author of What You've Been Missing

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
Best lesbian contemporary novel I've ever read.
Dykolicious
Also, I should address briefly the fact that this is a book about lesbians.
Molly
The book is flowing with intricate details about all of the characters.
T'Anya Carter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Burmese Tiger Trap on July 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
If Jeanette Winterson is the love child of Anne Lamott and Woody Allen as wisecracked in Sarah Terez Rosenblum's novel "Herself When She's Missing," then Sarah Terez Rosenblum is the love child of Audrey Niffenegger and Michael Chabon. "Herself" is so securely anchored in place, acutely observed Chicago becomes a character and a theme and a mood. Rosenblum takes after "daddy" Chabon even more, though her metaphors are measured and illuminating where Chabon's verbal pyrotechnics can be dazzling but sometimes nourishing to neither the reader nor the story.

A sure-footed exploration of sexual ethics, "Herself" follows Andrea through a plunge into a two-part affair with charismatic Jordan. They connect initially as fans of a folk-rock duo; passion and a discomfitting intensity follow. Andrea never quite knows what's real with Jordan, and the reader shares her imbalance. Mystery, denial, and suspense ensue, all within a recursive hall of mirrors, but the story maintains momentum where a weaker one might stall. It leaves you without easy answers or complete ones. Lists, figures, and diagnostic interruptions intersperse the text, lending the narrative a telescoping aspect. Soft Skull should do the reader the courtesy of placing the figures in-line in the text in subsequent printings. Unless I missed the point, it's hard to remember the last time disintegration paired so well with possible optimism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SRoth on October 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
This nonlinear narrative tells the story of Andrea, a young woman forever searching for fulfillment. She tries religion and sex (I sort of wanted her to try drugs too, but she's probably way too type A for that.) and can never seem to lose herself fully enough to breath easy. Most of the book deals with her off and on relationship with Jordan, an older woman who Andrea meets while waiting in line for her favorite band's concert. Reading about how she lost herself to the relationship really got to me. I'm making the book sound kind of tragic, but it's actually really witty. The author knows when to zero in and hit the reader with drama and when to use a light hand. I should also point out that I'm straight and this book is labeled 'lesbian.' I never felt disconnected from what was happening though. I'm so glad it was recommended to me. I hope others can see past labels and pick up this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Emily2000 on January 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully written tale of love/lust/insecurity/greed/need that transcends being categorized as "Lesbian literature." Yes, it is about the twisted "love" of Andrea and Jordan, but there is a universality here that demands this novel be "declassified." Who do we love, and why? When do we know when to bale out of a bad relationship, and do we have the courage to do so? So many important questions are raised in this outstanding first novel. If you want a good read, it doesn't matter if you are gay or straight - this is a novel that rings true to our human need for love and companionship, whatever the cost.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T'Anya Carter on June 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are so many wonderfully complex components to this book! Ms. Rosenblum nailed it right out of the box! I do so enjoy the breaks from the traditional with the lists and diagrams. I especially relished in the fact that it was good lesbian fiction. It can be difficult to find these days. Oh and the detail!! The book is flowing with intricate details about all of the characters. The framing of how one can lose oneself totally and completely within someone else is perfect. Andrea refers to Jordan as the Criminal Mastermind throughout the book. I have to question is Andrea a version of a Criminal Mastermind to herself? Although, I have asked myself this question a few times, I have yet to answer myself with complete certainty. The only way to resolve this issue is with a sequel!! Thanks Ms. Rosenblum for an awesome read! T'Anya Carter
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Freddie Levin on May 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ms. Rosenblum's breathtaking debut novel gives me what I require from any creative act: truth and energy. Her brilliant, quirky voice delineates unforgettable characters that remind us of the best and worst in ourselves. I'm ready for whatever she dishes up next.
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By Molly on May 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is an incredible novel. I just had to post a review specifically to counter one reader's classification of this book as a "romance novel." While it is about a (very dysfunctional) relationship, it is NOT, I repeat NOT a romance novel. I mean, it's just not. The language and character development place this novel squarely in the literary fiction category and to say otherwise is to expose literary naivete.

I won't go into the plot of the book, but I will say this writer's language and character development is outstanding. Her phrasology is wonderful. It is true the book isn't written with a traditional, chronological structure, and that at times, this can be *slightly* confusing, but it also adds a richness to the book. It's written as if you were talking to someone who was remembering a past relationship. Memories would not come to mind necessarily in chronological order.

Also, I should address briefly the fact that this is a book about lesbians. (Oh my!) Yes, it's about lesbians, but you do not have to be lgbt to enjoy this book. The dysfunctional nature of the relationship between the two main characters transcends sexual orientation and is interesting, often a bit disturbing, but also humorous. I'm straight and married to a man and this is truly one of my favorite books.

PS -- I'm from Chicago, but I do not know the author (though I wish I did!)
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