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Big Girl Small: A Novel Hardcover – May 10, 2011
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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“The voice of Judy Lohden will ring in my head for weeks to come. A first page so funny and fierce I read it aloud to my teenagers—in public. Judy stuffs Holden Caulfield right back into his dusty museum case and shows us the rawness and the dark humor of today’s coming-of-age experience. Judy Lohden speaks for all young people facing the unspeakable ignorance of others. Yet Rachel DeWoskin handles the story with the sensitivity of a scalpel and a humor that leaves the reader howling. I was delighted and moved.” —Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
“Big Girl Small is the most engaging novel I’ve read in many years. DeWoskin has aimed the book at all the pleasure centers: it’s sad, funny, quirkily suspenseful, and—most of all—beautiful. I can’t imagine a more satisfying read. A book for anyone, anywhere, who’s ever felt alien or different. That is, a book for everyone.” —Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng and More Than It Hurts You
“I loved reading Big Girl Small as much as I loved watching The Breakfast Club for the first time. Is Rachel DeWoskin our new John Hughes?” —Isabel Gillies, author of Happens Every Day
“This is what Rachel Dewoskin wants to know: how do you go on living in a world that exalts creativity yet stifles difference? DeWoskin describes exactly what high school kids are like: the smart ones, and the sensitive ones, and the okay ones, and the happy ones, and the fake ones, and the twisty artists, and the true talents, and in the middle of it all, her exuberant creation Judy Lohden—a stellar phenomenon growing like a poppy towards the sun. Witty, intuitive, and moving, Big Girl Small examines the crucial moment when we either listen to what the world says and stay small, or dare to sing out at the top of our lungs.” —Nicola Keegan, author of Swimming
“DeWoskin deftly captures the often vicious dynamics of adolescents, which mask their fragility, and creates in Judy an unforgettable character, one who is, by turns, sardonic and heartbreakingly vulnerable.” —Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist (starred review)
“DeWoskin’s daring third book takes on sexual politics, physical beauty, pity, and violence, and succeeds in giving readers a nuanced and provocative treatment without descending into pedantics or hysteria . . . It’s a rare author who is willing to subject her protagonist to the extreme ranges of degradation and redemption to which DeWoskin subjects Judy; thankfully, she manages it beautifully.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“DeWoskin creates a compelling voice for Judy and performs neat literary magic, confronting the stereotypes of teen fiction even as she uses them to pull the readers’ heartstrings.” —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Top customer reviews
And it is very seldom that a work of fiction can so fully awaken adolescence as does Big Girl Small. Judy Lohden is an everywoman/everygirl teenager, but with fears of loneliness, unreturned love, self-doubt, self-consciousness raised to an art form by DeWoskin's central conceit: Lohden is a dwarf, a girl small in stature but big in every other way that counts.
Big Girl Small is a first-person narrative throughout, the voice of Judy Lohden. This is an extraordinary accomplishment by the writer - the voice rings true, is unique, is vivid and alive. Yet it comes from a person with a context and set of experiences few of us share. What we do share are the emotions. good and bad decisions, ambition and diffidence of Lohden. It is a voice both mature and distant, with a wry and ironic humor and self-mockery throughout, that place the central character's hopes and disastrous choices in context. Yet also a voice with the naivete and hope of youth. Lohden is a great character, a small, female Caulfield at play in a Midwest high school. You will be very glad to have met her.
deWoskin's two earlier books also make great summer reads: Foreign Babes in Beijing is a story of a young American woman living in China before the expatriate and investment invasions. And Repeat After Me is a moving tale of a young woman, living in New York, whose obsessions and loves and hopes will stay with you long after you close the covers. All of her books show a rare genius for narrative, a characteristic and literate wit, and a craftswoman's way with language, that will both delight and challenge you.
Most recent customer reviews
I have mixed feelings about this book that I picked up and raced through because of its easy to read writing...Read more