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My Brother's Name: A Novel Paperback – September 3, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Scarletta Press (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983021945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983021940
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,651,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Identity is a slippery slope in this GLBT novel written as a young woman’s memoir-like tale of assuming her look-alike, schizophrenic brother’s identity. Jane goes far beyond an exterior resemblance as she mirrors John, reaching into deeper, more mysterious realms. “In my very first moments of being my brother, I was already getting us mixed up.” Even the book design, with its reversed-type running header, emphasizes mirroring. Their shared passion for drums lands “Johnny” work, and Jane soon experiences this complex sensation: “my body felt more like John’s than mine . . . how the things done to it might reward or punish my brother instead of me.” This becomes problematic when dental technician April comes on to Johnny, and, although Jane’s excited and attracted, she must lie to avoid having sex. Inevitably, romantic entanglement and pain result in Krughoff’s fast-paced read that’s as daring and provocative as it is entertaining. --Whitney Scott

Review

26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Finalist - LGBT Debut Fiction

"Intriguing premise and deeply involved relationships between characters opens a new perspective on self and gender identity. ...Krughoff creates a fascinating portrait of a family coping with mental illness and explores the outer limits of sisterly love. ...by deeply involving the reader in Jane and John’s lives, [Krughoff] provides much food for thought. Jane’s transformation into John—evocatively illustrated in stunning cover art by Anders Hanson—is so complete that readers will be torn between wanting her to reveal her true identity and hoping she gets away with the ruse somehow." — ForeWord Reviews

"Identity is a slippery slope in this GLBT novel written as a young woman’s memoir-like tale of assuming her look-alike, schizophrenic brother’s identity. ...Inevitably, romantic entanglement and pain result in Krughoff’s fast-paced read that’s as daring and provocative as it is entertaining." — Booklist

"...a unique and intricately aligned debut." — Publishers Weekly

"...Laura Krughoff bends that premise into a psychological exploration of mental illness, family loyalty and sexual identity in the enthralling new novel, My Brother's Name. ...Here’s where Krughoff’s talent shines as she normalizes the improbable ruse and ensnares the reader as an accessory to the deception. My Brother’s Name is a compelling case study in shared sibling psychosis, as well as a taut exploration of identity." — Wisconsin State Journal

"Brilliantly told with compassion." — St. Paul Pioneer Press

"This is a multi-layered, deep novel that reads like a memoir and will give you plenty of food for thought. It can be alternately frustrating and hard to take, and beautiful and addicting. …highly recommended and exceedingly satisfying. " — Minneapolis Books Examiner, Linda White

"A gutsy, poignant, bold and nuanced debut, Laura Krughoff’s big talent tackles mental illness, gender identity, and the intricacies of the American middle-class family." — Cris Mazza, author of Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls

“Krughoff's debut novel is a disturbing, subversive, and strangely fun psychological thriller. While My Brother's Name has shades of Jeffrey Eugenides on gender identity, Siri Hustvedt on psychosis, even Jennifer Egan on the lengths to which siblings will go to identify with and claim one another, its alchemy of combustible ingredients adds up to something wholly original and compellingly its own.” — Gina Frangello, author of Slut Lullabies and My Sister’s Continent

“Laura Krughoff's daringly original novel kept me awake most of the night--not only was the plot so riveting that I had to continue reading to the end, I lay awake after I had finished, thinking about the characters and attempting to catch my breath. My Brother's Name is a book for anyone who loves a brother or a sister, a daughter or a son, especially a relative with mental illness. It's also a gripping read for anyone who loves masterful prose and provocative questions about gender, bodies, minds, and love.” — Eileen Pollack, author of Breaking and Entering

My Brother's Name offers an absorbing account of the cascading effects of mental illness upon identity. Krughoff's insightful, provocative portrayal of psychologically entangled siblings reminds me of early Ian McEwan.” — Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl

"Laura Krughoff's My Brother's Name is a beautifully written and eerie novel about identity-slippage. At first you notice the story's memorable strangeness, and then you think: No, this could happen to anybody." — Charles Baxter, author of The Soul Thief

"...an unsettling literary psychological thriller that poignantly tackles issues of gender identity and mental illness in our society." — Largehearted Boy (blog)

More About the Author

Laura Krughoff is a fiction writer whose work has been appearing in literary magazines and journals over the past decade. Her stories have been published in prestigious American venues such as Threepenny Review, The Seattle Review, Washington Square Review, and Chicago Tribune's Printers Row Journal, and internationally in the feminist Canadian magazine Room of One's Own (now known as Room Magazine). She is a recipient of the Washington Square Prize for Fiction for her story "This Is One Way," a Pushcart Prize for her story "Halley's Comet" and a runner-up for a Nelson Algren Award from Chicago Tribune for her story "The Beekeeper's Son." In 2011, she was a finalist for the University of Georgia Press Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. She also writes and performs non-fiction with the story-telling performance collaborative Second Story. Laura is a writer, scholar, and teacher, living in Chicago. Find out more at www.laurakrughoff.com.

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By Heather Momyer on March 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My Brother's Name will dazzle you and make you feel pulpy inside (but in a heart-breaking way more than a heart-uplifting way). The story is about Jane and her brother John and together they become Johnny-Jane-John as Jane takes her brother's identity, living as as John as part of their co-prescribed therapy to help John live with schizophrenia. It's a hopeless situation, as hopeless as her love. As Jane becomes Johnny, her earlier, only partially-formed identity gets lost in the make-believe world of pretending to be someone else until she really does become someone else. The story questions the notion of authentic identity and offers the consciously-created identity as a type of real self.
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By Dawn R Tracey on November 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Didn't want to put the book down. The characters kept creeping into my thoughts even when I wasn't reading it.
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