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All the Anxious Girls on Earth: Stories
     

All the Anxious Girls on Earth: Stories

by Zsuzsi Gartner
 

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All the Anxious Girls on Earth marks the debut of a startingly original literary voice. Zsuzsi Gartner's exuberant prose gives voice to unforgettable characters who survive by their wits as they cope with indifferent relationships, lackluster jobs, and the myriad curve-balls life throws their way.

A woman calls in fake bomb threats from the nineteenth

Overview

All the Anxious Girls on Earth marks the debut of a startingly original literary voice. Zsuzsi Gartner's exuberant prose gives voice to unforgettable characters who survive by their wits as they cope with indifferent relationships, lackluster jobs, and the myriad curve-balls life throws their way.

A woman calls in fake bomb threats from the nineteenth floor of a bank tower as revenge against her ex-lover. The mother of a girl killed by a teenage urban guerilla thrives spectacularly in her industrious grief, transforming herself into a forgiveness guru and talk-show host. Lured into the wilderness by her desire for a man who rebuilds vintage airplanes, a young woman finds she lusts more for biscotti and city sidewalks. A small, heroic child makes a guileless request for pajamas and creates a psychic storm at the center of her anxious, achievement-mad parents' lives.

Rendered in a jittery, jazzed-up prose that has been compared to that of Lorrie Moore and Mary Flanagan, these stories brilliantly capture the pathos, beauty, and alienation of contemporary life and signal the arrival of a writer to watch.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Canadian author Gartner, a journalist and editor (Saturday Night and The Georgia Straight magazines), has written nine unique short stories. Some readers will relate to them, while others will despair. Bizarre, often brilliant, these are not success stories. Rather, they are peopled with wacky, alienated characters flummoxed by their own lives. A mentally retarded woman glories in the five-year-old genius nephew in her care after his parents are killed in an accident; a young woman follows her current heartthrob into bush country, then longs for the noisy clamor of urban traffic and the feel of city sidewalks; a daughter learns of her mother's miscarriage 30 years earlier and mentally communes with the unborn fetus. What these stories lack in depth they may make up for in cleverness. For these are clever stories. If this is enough for you, enjoy. For larger fiction collections.--Mary G. Szczesiul, Roseville P.L., MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Kirkus Reviews
A stylish but ultimately slight debut collection of nine stories: think early Lorrie Moore, but without the empathy and insight. Canadian writer Gartner strikes the obligatory hipster pose of ironic detachment without delivering much in the way of feeling. Nonetheless, she uses her sharp wit to deft advantage in portraying a parade of clever, observant, sardonic female protagonists who are, generally speaking, fed up: with men, their jobs, their lives. In `City of My Dreams,` a young woman working in a soap and cosmetics store in Vancouver reviews with stinging humor some of the absurd twists her life has taken. The most striking story here, `The Nature of Pure Evil,` centers on Hedy, whose lover has left her to marry another woman. First, she avenges herself by calling in a phony bomb threat to a restaurant where she knows the two are dining. Then things snowball, and Hedy begins to make random bomb threats having nothing to do with her lover; she gets a subversive thrill out of calling the shots and seeing people dance to her tune. Nothing much happens in this tale—nothing of real consequence happens in any of the stories—but it exemplifies Gartner's quirky voice and her feel for the way people drift through their lives without ever giving away what they're really thinking. But a little of Gartner's style goes a long way: a story can only skate so far on attitude alone, and one hungers for a character that doesn't evaporate the moment the page is turned. Might well amuse the slacker crowd, but more demanding readers will find the laughs ultimately hollow. Author tour

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307481290
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/31/2010
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,004,592
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Zsuzsi Gartner grew up in Calgary and has lived and worked in Ottava, Toronto, and Vancouver, where she currently resides.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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