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Oxford Messed Up Paperback – November 17, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Grant Place Press (November 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984675108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984675104
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #995,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A beautifully written and compelling love story about two messed up people who help each other face and overcome their demons.... The story gives a window into the mind of a woman, Gloria, who is suffering severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. We see her internal thoughts her critical, perfectionistic, sometimes grandiose, and always germ-phobic thoughts as well as the compulsive behaviors they lead to. We come intimately to know what it must feel like to have these struggles.... Oxford Messed Up shows nothing less than the redemptive power of love. --Elyn Saks, J.D., Ph.D., 2009 winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant and author of The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness

In her first novel, Andrea Kayne Kaufman asks whether each of us, messed up in our own way, can choose to embrace happiness.... Van Morrison's lyrics provide a backdrop for this narrative, which is more than a love story it is a study of fatalistic optimism. I couldn't put this book down because Kaufman makes you care deeply about the individual journeys of her two protagonists. --Kathleen McCartney, Ph.D., Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Finally, a story that shows how powerful Cognitive Behavior Therapy really is, and a protagonist who is so much more than her OCD. You will root for Kaufman's characters because of their beautifully realized humanity, while you gain understanding of the constant undercurrent of noise in the mind of anyone who has OCD. This book accurately and finally portrays the recovery that is possible when OCD is treated correctly. Thank you, Andrea Kayne Kaufman, on behalf of all of us who struggle with anxiety, and on behalf of all of us searching for healing, growth and a beautiful love story! --Susan Richman, Honorary Chair, Board of Directors, OCD Chicago --Susan Richman, Honorary Chair, Board of Directors, OCD Chicago

In her first novel, Andrea Kayne Kaufman asks whether each of us, messed up in our own way, can choose to embrace happiness.... Van Morrison's lyrics provide a backdrop for this narrative, which is more than a love story it is a study of fatalistic optimism. I couldn't put this book down because Kaufman makes you care deeply about the individual journeys of her two protagonists. --Kathleen McCartney, Ph.D., Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Finally, a story that shows how powerful Cognitive Behavior Therapy really is, and a protagonist who is so much more than her OCD. You will root for Kaufman's characters because of their beautifully realized humanity, while you gain understanding of the constant undercurrent of noise in the mind of anyone who has OCD. This book accurately and finally portrays the recovery that is possible when OCD is treated correctly. Thank you, Andrea Kayne Kaufman, on behalf of all of us who struggle with anxiety, and on behalf of all of us searching for healing, growth and a beautiful love story! --Susan Richman, Honorary Chair, Board of Directors, OCD Chicago

About the Author

Andrea Kayne Kaufman is chair of the Department of Leadership, Language and Curriculum at the DePaul University College of Education in Chicago. An educator and attorney, she earned a B.A. from Vassar College, an M.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two children.

More About the Author

Andrea Kayne Kaufman has guided and mentored hundreds of students as a professor at the DePaul University College of Education. A professor and attorney who earned a bachelor's degree from Vassar College, a master's degree in Education from Harvard University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Andrea has students who are primarily teachers, seeking masters and doctoral degrees in Educational Leadership to serve as principals and superintendents.

Andrea is an award-winning expert in the area of school law, and has published and spoken widely about special education law, education civil rights, the No Child Left Behind Act, cyber bullying, and other legal and political issues having an impact on students and schools.

In her personal and professional life, Andrea has been involved with issues relating to special needs, in particular Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Her debut novel, "Oxford Messed Up," is a literary love story that transports readers on a redemptive and emotional journey, where the academic world of Oxford University serves as a backdrop for true learning, self-discovery, and transcendent love. Andrea's professional expertise and personal experience have given her the vision to create a novel hailed by experts as one of the first to present the inner workings and treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder accurately, from the inside out. "Oxford Messed Up" was recently awarded the Best Adult Fiction E-Book Gold Medal by the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Andrea is currently working on her next novel, "Parent Over Shoulder." In this poignant love story, Andrea brings her education background, sensitivity, insight and articulate writing style to another "hell" found in many school communities - cyber-bullying.

Andrea draws inspiration for her writing and life from poetry, Van Morrison's music and other classic vinyl, her daily walks along Lake Michigan, and her time spent with her husband and two children in their equanimity-filled Chicago home.

Read more about Andrea at www.andreakaynekaufman.com.

Customer Reviews

It's such a sweet love story and a very well written book!!!
Hogan
This book is also something that readers will simply enjoy as a good story -- one infused with poetry, music, and hope.
Jeanne K
The characters are all well developed from the main protagonists to the supporting cast.
Kentucky Quacker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amy Crowley on March 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a book club suggestion, and turned out to be a runaway hit for our group! I'm not usually a romance reader, but was intrigued and quickly hooked by the story. The writing made me feel a part of Oxford graduate student life (no small feat), and I became engrossed in these characters' lives. The romance was sweet yet realistic, and I appreciated the subtle education on OCD issues and treatments as part of the story. This was a hip romance, and I'm already looking forward to the author's next book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By drebbles VINE VOICE on March 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Rhodes Scholar Gloria Zimmerman is extremely intelligent but held back by her Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder which is ruled by "Oliver" who delights in telling her how germy everything is. She is horrified to discover that she will be sharing a bathroom with Henry Young, an ex-junkie who is a terrible slob. Gloria and Henry do have one thing in common - their love of Van Morrison's music. This one thing in common creates an unexpected friendship between them which slowly evolves into a deeper relationship. But they have many obstacles to overcome including not only Gloria's OCD but Henry's past which will forever haunt him.

The first couple of chapters were a bit slow but once the story got going "Oxford Messed Up" pulled me into the book to the point that I still can't forget the main characters long after I've finished reading the book. Author Andrea Kayne Kaufman has done a wonderful job of creating two complex characters who somehow manage to find love despite their problems. Kaufman's portrayal of Gloria is especially sensitive. She (using the help of "Oliver") really gets into Gloria's mind and what it is like to have OCD. Readers will agonize with Gloria as she at times tries to rid herself of "Oliver" yet is too weak to do so. It is heartbreaking to read as Gloria cleans the bathroom for hours at a time; heartwarming to read the times when she manages to beat "Oliver". This is mainly Gloria's story but Henry is just as well-written and just as troubled a character. Gloria helps him just as much as he helps her. Their romance develops slowly (nicely done by Kaufman) and you are never quite certain until the end if they will stay together (Kaufman has created such believable characters that readers may want a tissue nearby as they get towards the end of the book).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karim on April 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
At the recmomendation of a friend, "Oxford Messed Up" became an instant hit with me. Finishing it in just two seatings, I was amazed at the amount of detail in the novel. From the Van Morrison song lyrics to the sites in England, I happily followed the intertwined lives of Gloria and Henry. The author writes well in many regards, and her ability to personify the characters and allowing them to seem real to me was incredible.

This novel speaks to issues facing this generation today and how these afflictions, like OCD, affect the lives of seemingly normal people. While pointing out the flaws in both Henry and Gloria, the novel is a feel-good, yet intense, story of love. Love, although never explicitly defined in the book, is expressed in a unique, refreshing manner.

The novel is an easy read and worth your time. A perfect book to start off the upcoming summer season.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jester on April 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you want a book with engaging characters that you care about to the last page, look no further than Oxford Messed Up. I had the great fortune to begin this novel on a long car trip, which allowed me to plow through in one sitting - I couldn't put it down!

Gloria Zimmerman, Rhodes Scholar and student of feminist poetry, struggles with untreated OCD as she settles into her new life at Oxford. OCD experts have vetted the book, and it shows; this is not the typical Hollywood portrayal. I really felt for Gloria's struggles and the immense amount of courage it took for her to begin to break away from the condition.

Gloria's counterpart, Henry Young, has his own problems. Kaufman paints a very real portrait of a grown child struggling with the toxic nature of his father, and Henry's resulting doubt of his self-worth. As Henry tries to heal Gloria (and perhaps himself), a wonderful romance emerges. Both Gloria and Henry are messed up in their own way, but it's fascinating to see how they weave their way into each others lives.

Kaufman adds engaging secondary characters, my favorite of which was Margo Mitchell. A professor and poet, she is hesitant to publish a new collection of joyful poetry for fear her fan base is too tied to her past mournful persona.

And how can I finish a review for Oxford Messed Up without mentioning the music of Van Morrison? Kaufman weaves the poetic power of his songs through the plot until they seem like another character. Don't worry if you're not familiar with Van Morrison's music - I wasn't, but the description of each song and it's meaning to the narrative allowed me to greatly enjoy the book. In fact, the description was so interesting that I've since begun to dip my toe into the vast recordings of Van Morrison.

In all: great characters you'll want to stay with to the end, emotionally real portrayals of OCD and family problems, and some kick-ass Van Morrison to tie it all together.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Bley on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Oh how sweet this story is! Characters rich with complexities that both inspire and reassure us, just as something inside us does...."We will be alright, everything is fine." The authors love of her protagonists was contagious. With such respect for their pain and dysfunction Andrea Kayne Kaufman brilliantly teaches us through Gloria and Henry we can indeed have what we want, and find happiness within our own foibles and perceived limitations.
Andrea's introduction and revelation of an important character, Oliver is nothing short of brilliant. At one point I laid the book down and smiled with her carefully constructed container for him and his place in Gloria's and Henry's story.
The story is spun like the gold the Millers Daughter gave us in a fairy-tale of long ago complete with a soundtrack, the music of Van Morrison! Music does often "save our very souls" and I was sad when this book came to an end.
Bravo Ms. Kaufman, I have recommended this book to everyone.
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