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How To Get Into the Twin Palms by [Waclawiak, Karolina]
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How To Get Into the Twin Palms Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Not only is How to Get into the Twin Palms about the overwhelming state that is displacement, it's about what happens when loneliness becomes unbearable. Waclawiak writes through these tensions so elegantly, so tenderly, that How to Get Into the Twin Palms is, by far, one of my favorite books this year."
- Roxane Gay, The Rumpus

About the Author

Karolina Waclawiak lived in Los Angeles for ten years, and while there, received her BFA in Screenwriting from USC. She moved to New York in 2008 to pursue an MFA in Fiction at Columbia and completed her first novel, How To Get Into The Twin Palms. She is currently the deputy editor of the Believer.

Product Details

  • File Size: 431 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Two Dollar Radio (July 10, 2012)
  • Publication Date: July 10, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008BGDR1E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,199 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I downloaded this book to my kindle and read it in one day. I don't even know where the time went. There is something about the story and the writing style that hooks you from the first page and keeps you going.

First, the subject matter is unique -- you are entrenched in the Russian/Polish community in Los Angeles, given a glimpse into a world most of us are completely unfamiliar with. Every detail seems to be a fascinating little surprise. But this story is more than just an intriguing world. Anya is SUCH A RARE main character -- a young woman who isn't afraid to put herself out there in a brazen attempt to find herself. To make mistakes. She isn't slight; she can handle it.

The other thing I love about this book is the questions it raises about intimacy -- what are you owed when you love? What are you allowed to ask for in return? What does what you ask for say about who you are? Does where you come from factor into the equation?

But you don't even realize all these questions are roiling around in your head until you've read the last sentence, because you are completely engrossed and inside Anya's head every step of the way.

I also love how so much of the story is revealed to us through the little things. Like how Anya analyzes old hair balls. Or scrutinizes the way someone eats borscht.

This is a beautiful, cathartic, svelte novel. Equally funny and tragic with a refreshing voice. I look forward to future works from the author.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I loved this book. I also got it on the kindle version and finished it in one sitting. This novel brought up so many questions about what it means to fit in both culturally and personally and what it takes to assimilate. Living between 2 worlds and not belonging to either really struck a cord for me.

Karolina also perfectly got the tone and mood of Los Angeles. It's not surprising that reading through her bio she lived there for over 10 years. This is the real Los Angeles - a melting pot of cultures that live block to block next to each other. It's a very unique community that Karolina captures so well - especially the old Fairfax - Santa Monica district that is quickly disappearing. It's a novel as much about the unique disconnection in Los Angeles as it is about the loneliness of the main character Ania.

Ania's roaming and needs were so vivid to me that this book has made me think about it's themes for days. It's a must read and definitely belongs in the pantheon of incredible Los Angeles novels.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Periodically I give up on modern fiction - so much of it seems poorly constructed and under-developed and in need of a better editor. But then books come along infrequently that renew my faith in the genre and remind me there are still writers out there with a gift. "How To Get Into the Twin Palms" is such a book. Reminiscent of Fante, the author does a great job of making us feel the loneliness and estrangement of Los Angeles, made all the more powerful from the viewpoint of an immmigrant who desperately wants into the Twin Palms because it is going to be a transformative place.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I could not understand the main character - there is little character development to explain why she behaves and thinks the way she does. She seems to have no self-respect or value system so it was very hard for me to connect with her. I had high expectations for a story of an immigrant trying to fit in, but instead I got a story of an immigrant trying to be another type of immigrant, selling herself and her culture along the way to fit in with a loser crowd. Blah.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anka is alone is the loneliest of places, the City of Angels. She lives in a stucco apartment in the Little Russia/Ukraine corner of Hollywood. She just lost her job finding people the `'right fit` at a temp agency. She is obsessed with the mysterious Twin Palms nightclub up the street and especially with one of its denizens, a Russian thugster with vodka breath and a cheap leather jacket. And all around the hills are inflame.

Such is the premise of Karolina Waclawiak`s weird debut novel, "How to Get Into The twin Palms." Unconventional in form with two-three page chapters, "Twin Palms" is a wry story about the costs of fitting into American society. Anka left Poland as a child navigating adolescence in an immigrant `assimilation camp` in Texas. Now in her twenties, Anka still feels adrift, no longer Polish, not quite American. She moves to the most generic place she can, LA. She envies her neighbors, those recent arrivals from the disemboweled Soviet Union who feel as comfortable as they did in Vladivostok or Kharkov. Bereft of identity and a `someone` to fill the void, she naturally becomes enthralled with the enigmatic stranger who loiters in front of her apartment.

Waclawiak`s prose is both understated and quirky. Details and character motivations are often guesswork. Her sentences rattle out clipped of wing and deceptively simple. This less-is-more format is both intriguing and annoying. Anka is prone to waxing cryptic about the travails of her solitude. "This was me making it work." Anka appears as vague and oddly tantalizing as the `Palms` she so hungers to enter. A myriad of wounds and hurts no doubt simmer below the surface but are never brought before the harsh California sun.
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