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Nobodys Girl Hardcover – February 9, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (February 9, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684839326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684839325
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,476,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The folks of Pinetop, New Mexico, would like their town to become a trendy tourist trap, but, alas, it is only a small, sleepy Southwestern place where everyone knows one another's business. Birdy Stone, a misplaced Chicagoan and high school English teacher, is just passing through, or at least that is what she says. Birdy is a thirtysomething slacker who conveniently finds a kindred spirit in her fellow teacher, Jesus Morales. Life for Birdy consists of watching movies and drinking with Jesus, until Mrs. Anthony, a local woman, asks Birdy to edit her life story. Birdy then becomes involved in the curious tale of the Anthony family. In 1984, daughter Teresa fell over a cliff to her death on the Fourth of July. Two weeks later, Teresa's father was killed in a car accident. Suspecting foul play, Birdy begins to ask questions. In addition to her investigation into the double death, she also becomes involved with Mark, Mrs. Anthony's son and Birdy's student. The past, present, and future intermingle in this story of love, friendship, family, and death. A clearly written novel with characters who are honest and believable.?Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Ohio
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

One of the many pleasures of Nelson's finely crafted and deeply felt novels, which include the award-winning Talking in Bed (1996), is her bright humor, and she has never been funnier, shrewder, or more magnetic than she is here. Her heroine, Birdy Stone, has fled all kinds of heartache in her hometown of Chicago, exiling herself to tiny Pinetop, New Mexico, where she teaches high-school English and hangs out with her one friend, Jesus, who is also an outsider by virtue of his homosexuality. But Birdy is destined for more complicated involvements. A tense little woman named Mrs. Anthony hires Birdy to help her write a memoir about the deaths of her daughter and husband, and Birdy not only becomes obsessed with these mysterious tragedies, she also enters into a wildly erotic affair with Mrs. Anthony's 17-year-old son. As the inevitable complications arise and Birdy tries to understand not only her current predicaments but also the sorrows of her past, Nelson adroitly illuminates our unending struggle to understand ourselves and our often bewildering relationships with family, friends, and lovers. This resonant novel has the power of the best of Ellen Gilchrist and Lorrie Moore and deserves as wide a readership. Donna Seaman

More About the Author

Antonya Nelson is the author of seven short story collections and four novels. She teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program. Her awards include the Rea Award for Short Fiction, Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, and an American Artists Award. She lives in Telluride, Colorado, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Houston, Texas.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. St. James on July 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
I pretty much read anything by Antonya Nelson--and with great pleasure. She's one of this century's strongest, funniest and most original auhtors of family relations, and always a pleasure. Plus, her writing keeps getting better.

This earlier novel, however, doesn't do her justice. The main character is hard to like, the prose meanders, and Nelson's point gets lost beneath her striving to make such a point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chrissy K. McVay VINE VOICE on October 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ever since reading Antonya Nelson's short story 'Control Group', which was once a finalist in the O'Henry Awards, I've realized she's so perceptive when it comes to developing the personalities of her characters that it's scary. I've read many of her short stories and had to read one of her novels. I wasn't bored, for not once did she lose touch with that human pulse that brings the people in her stories so close to the surface they seem breathe back at you from the pages!

Chrissy K. McVay

author of 'Souls of the North Wind'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Although I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, Ido find that the central character, Birdy Stone, is not always sympathetic, or even likable. This makes the book interesting, but it also makes some of Birdy's thought processes unappealing. However, despite her rampant insecurities, Birdy is not altogether unlovable. She is funny and irreverent. Jesus, too, is amusing, witty. Luziana, perhaps my favorite character, seems wise beyond her years, yet youthful as well. All around, the book is a worthwhile read. Its humor and its unique views of life in a small southwestern town make it enjoyable. Nelson's attention to detail, such as Mr. John's ever present khaki coveralls offer an authenticity that more than make up for Birdy's small shortcomings.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Hester on February 19, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pinetop, New Mexico, slopes toward the future, and Birdy Stone, high school English teacher, slips on its desperate incline. At the novel's beginning, Birdy engages to tutor the mother of a student, Mark. The mother is inventing an account of how Mark's father and sister died. Birdy sets about to uncover the truth about those deaths. Meanwhile, she seduces Mark, who eagerly falls into lust, and tries sometimes to get a footing in her life. A existential current flows under the twine of stories. Humor gusts through the prose. Luziana, a pregnant student who knows what she wants, and Mr. John, a retarded janitor who appears to have the keys to every puzzle, and Jesus Morales, fellow teacher who travels to Albuquerque for his gay freedom, crowd into Birdy's mobile home or she into their lives. At the end, a reader is not sure where he or she has gone but, like a passenger on a amusement park ride, has enjoyed the sensation of arriving there.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jana on January 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
The way the review read, I thought this book would be interesting. It's strange, I know, but I find seduction combining older and younger parties intriguing (may I reccommend PURE by rebbecca ray of INNOCENTS by cathy coote for those of you in the same boat). However, this book was incredibly boring.
I'm not trying to be harsh, but from the very start I knew I didn't like Birdy Stone. The scene the book opens on is where Birdy is explaining to her students that depressing literature is much more meaningful and lasting than happy lit. And almost as if it were forshadowing, the whole book was...depressing.
Perhaps a good read for those in the mood for an emotional sponge, but deffinitely not a book for those looking for breathtakingly magnificent prose. It certainly wasn't MY book anyway. I just wouldn't reccomend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Nelson is a great writer: her insights are always wry and surprising, her characters always people who are both flawed and appealing. Really rewarding--completely worth reading.
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