From Publishers Weekly
Sometimes sad, often poignant and always painfully honest, the stories in this fiction anthology do away with the rose-colored glasses that grown-ups often employ to make memories of adolescence bearable, drawing them back into the bewildering fog of youth. Beyond a talented group of writers-including George Saunders, Jennifer Egan, Stacey Richter, A.M. Homes and Nathan Englander-author and editor Poirier has gathered a happily diverse set of sad-sack stories. Julie Orringer produces a "Note to Sixth-Grade Self," in which she advises an awkward 12-year-old how to get through excruciating dance classes ("Do not think about Zachary Booth's hand warts"); Mark Poirier contributes the story of an unhappy boy whose compulsive lies hide an unspeakable secret; and Amber Dermont posits a convincing tale of a teenage girl learning to understand her abhorrent mother. For adult readers, this rich, candid collection is bound to stir memories of their own growing pains, and more than a few words of thanks that they're in the past; for those in the thick of it, these stories will, if nothing else, take a little of the sting out of teenage loneliness and confusion.
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About the Author
Mark Jude Poirier is a novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of the novels Modern Ranch Living and Goats, and the story collections Unsung Heroes of American Industry and Naked Pueblo.