- Series: Novel(la)
- Paperback: 100 pages
- Publisher: Mud Luscious Press; First Edition edition (December 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0983026327
- ISBN-13: 978-0983026327
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,523,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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We Take Me Apart (Novel(la)) First Edition Edition
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Molly Gaudry must have revised this gem of a novella over and over and over to get the wording, the rhythms, the images, etc. just so. We Take Me Apart, as an idea, may have stemmed from fairy tales, but Gaudry's pushing of language takes it to a special level. The story itself, told from the point of view of a daughter, focuses on a mother/daughter relationship. But it doesn't simply do that. Gaudry is able to divulge her wheres and hows through the simple language of a young girl - clearly showing the social and class structure through the protagonist's views of the world her mother works in. Her path from childhood to adulthood, and the murkiness that many of us may recall going through on that very path, is executed beautifully. It's the type of book that I find the best means of expressing what drew me in is to show off a sample of the writing itself. This comes from about the 3/4 mark through the novella: She caught cold in the chest so called me home & I went to her to care for her the way she had cared for me & after awhile I began to call her Susan because I could not call her Mother because Mother had been black cherries in a bowl & Susan had become chewed up & pit-spit out & Mother had been days & Susan was seconds & Mother had been a massage that eased the soreness of a sprain away & Susan was the beating of fists & the bruising of an orange into a plum & Mother had been a small white bird & Susan was the bones of the bird fractured like glass that cannot be mended & Mother had been pepper & Susan was the mistake that ruins a meal & causes the chef to throw in the towel & Mother had been news & Susan was the ash of the remains of crumpled newsprint & Mother had been a mass a force & Susan was sparse Reading the above, and doing so aloud - which I believe is the best way to enjoy this novella - one can't help but being sucked into a rhythm, or cadence. Not a word is out of place, nothing is missing, no extra words are added - Molly Gaudry has worked this section, and every other section in the book to the very essence of what is necessary to capture her readers and not let them go. This is a book you'll pick up and begin to look at and find yourself setting it down an hour or two later, having read it all, with many paragraphs and pages having been enjoyed two or three times. On a quick side note, I cannot say how impressed I was as well with the production quality of this book. Mud Luscious Press has done a fantastic job - the cover is gorgeous (Alicia Neal's art and Steven Seighman's design) and the size and feel of the book matches Molly's writing perfectly. Just a stellar job all around. --Dan Wickett, Emerging Writers Network
Inspired by fairytales & Gertrude Stein s Tender Buttons, Molly Gaudry s We Take Me Apart is the first novel(la) from J. A. Tyler s Mud Luscious Press. Described by Gaudry herself as a novella in verse, the book does indeed read like a lengthy, narrative poem in spite of the author s hesitation with the latter label. While there s little punctuation, followers of Mud Luscious Press will immediately notice the publication s calling card ampersands replacing the word and as well as the all-caps dialogue. For example, I once asked BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GIRL IN THE GLASS DRESS & Mother s answer was JUST COUNT YOUR LUCKY STARS YOU RE SAFE IN BED & NOT A COOK FOR A RICH MAN (5). Story-wise, We Take Me Apart contains three characters: the protagonist daughter, her mother, & the daughter s significant other. Though much of the book is in first person, it shifts to second when referring to the daughter s love interest. Successful, too, is Gaudry s adept use of voice, which changes as the main character grows older. I also enjoy the language she employs, drawing attention to diction & repetition a la Karen Lillis s The Second Elizabeth (Six Gallery Press, 2009) & Peter Markus s Bob, or Man on Boat (Dzanc Books, 2008). Because the text alludes to other works of literature, those unfamiliar with such references won t have quite as full a read as those who do a gamble on the author s part for sure, but one that doesn t significantly alter the plot. Lamentably, the narrative meanders in the middle, lowering the dramatic tension that the beginning sets up so well. The end, however, is a saving grace. Not only is it unpredictable, it s a refreshing jolt that avoids the formulaic by refusing to stoop to a happy (fairytale?) resolution for the main characters. Overall, We Take Me Apart is a fine debut from Gaudry & an impressive first installment from Mud Luscious Press. --Jason Jordan, decomP
Molly Gaudry wrote a book called We Take Me Apart and I read it on a flight from Portland to Sacramento, in mid-December, the year of our load two-thousand and ten: And I found it to be quite lovely. Do you fly much? I don t, but I like it when I do. I seem to travel well. I enjoy the motion of things. I also like the coffee they bring you on planes, or the half-soda if you would rather, and the in-flight magazine, and the way the cabin has a sort of taste to it. And the peanuts, lightly salted. I also enjoy the women whose job it is to tell you how best to die if in fact the plane should crash into the earth below. This is the way I read WE TAKE ME APART, travelling through the air at speeds I could never reach on my own, drinking coffee and eating peanuts in a modern miracle of science and engineering. There isn t much I can say about the plot of We Take Me Apart without ruining things for those who have yet to read it: But I have to tell you something. How s this? The book is about a woman and her relationship to two other women, one being her mother, the other being you, and you, my dear, broke her heart. How dare you! What I can for certain say about the book (without fear of giving too much away): This little novel is beautiful a dozen times over, and it is dark, and it is sad, and it has a lot of tricks up its sleeves. It has very little punctuation, and not a lot of dialogue. It has nothing resembling paragraphs. This book has sentences that aren t quite sentences (but at the same time they are totally sentences, and there s nothing you can do about it). It is about an un-named narrator, some older woman, and this gal re-purposes fairy tales to explain the different phases of her life, letting us know that it never quite lived up to what she had hoped for. At times this novel has a bit of a Palahniuk vibe going, but it s ok that it does, and we, collectively, forgive both the author and the narrator for this unfortunate truth (because honestly, it works). The book starts on page one (1) and ends on page one hundred (100). It is made of paper and ink and some kind of protective coating. One time I tried to loan this book to some friend of a friend that I thought was pretty, but in the conversation leading up to me handing it over she proved to me that she wasn t my kind of person, that the two of us had no future together, as friends or otherwise, and there was nothing to be done about it. I could give her three books a day and she would still be her. I kept the book in my possession. --Riley Michael Parker, Housefire
About the Author
A five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Molly Gaudry is the author of the verse novel WE TAKE ME APART, which has been nominated for the 2011 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry. She is also the editor of the soon-to-be released Tell: An Anthology of Expository Narrative, founding editor of the environmental literature journal Willows Wept Review, co-founding editor of Twelve Stories, and she runs Cow Heavy Books.
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Molly Gaudry is the author of We Take Me Apart, (set for release 12.15.09) a novella written in verse. If you consider her novella poetry, then it borrows much from prose. And if you see it as prose, it allows for a poetic flavor. Gaudry walks this line with great poise and in that poise we find her greatest strength as a writer. And like that song, We Take Me Apart grows on its reader. It captures something familiar.
Given the path she chose to tell this story, she forces herself to stay consistent in language and format. She is sometimes bold, as only one word "Timepiece" fills the page.(p. 28)
But she shows variety as she brings in subtle images that leave you breathless.
"rain pounded the sill
lightning lit our sweat
the well known people
when they lick the tips of their fingers
press into me on the counter
I will this way be lifted into the air" (p. 33)
We Take Me Apart is daring but so well constructed that it is impossible not appreciate the work that was put into this novella. Molly Gaudry writes for those who enjoy literature that challenges its predecessors, contemporaries and the reader.