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Breathing Underwater
     

Breathing Underwater

5.0 1
by Lu Vickers
 

“A hilarious and daring portrait of growing up gay in the American South. One roots for Lily as one does for Huck Finn. This beautifully written debut novel explores the fragile links between a girl’s growing awareness of her sexuality and the far-reaching effects this has upon her family.”—Pamela Ball, author of Lava and The

Overview

“A hilarious and daring portrait of growing up gay in the American South. One roots for Lily as one does for Huck Finn. This beautifully written debut novel explores the fragile links between a girl’s growing awareness of her sexuality and the far-reaching effects this has upon her family.”—Pamela Ball, author of Lava and The Floating City

"Lu Vickers is an exquisite writer. Her work can be, at once, poetic, sharp, hilarious, and relentlessly moving. In Breathing Underwater, she investigates, with keen insight, the legacies of guilt, the intricacies of the mother-daughter relationship, and the complexities of budding sexuality. A stunning, rich, and haunting debut." --Julianna Baggott, best-selling author of Girl Talk, The Madam, and Lizzie Borden in Love

In 1970s Chattahoochee, Florida, where the main employer is a mental institution, it’s sink or swim for Lily. When her mama, a former beauty queen who once dreamt of being Miss Florida, takes Lily and her siblings fishing one morning, Lily nearly drowns while her mother looks on, “weighing her gains against her losses.” Lily proves to be a survivor, which she will need to prove again and again, as she struggles to stay afloat amidst her mother’s slow mental deterioration, her first love, and her quest to come to terms with who she is and what she wants from this crazy world. With lyrical prose, Lu Vickers gives voice to Lily’s inner soul, and in turn reveals how universal our needs and desires are.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Coming out young is tough enough, but poor Lily has the misfortune of doing it in a setting as gothic and claustrophobic as anything Faulkner could have dreamed up: Chattahoochee, Fla., where the largest employer is a mental institution. Her family is classically dysfunctional: an emotionally distant father and a failed beauty queen mother who believes her children ruined her life. Lily's mother is especially toxic-she watches while Lily nearly drowns early in the book-and grows more demented as the narrative progresses. Lily's preteen undercurrent of awareness that she is not like the other girls prompts her to determine that she's in love with her friend Rae; the two practice kissing one another with Rae's caveat that one has to pretend to be a boy. Lily keeps her lesbian yearnings mostly under wraps, but an encounter with another young woman gets her in trouble with her off-the-rocker mother, and her father's attempts to keep the family together can only do so much. The plotting in this debut novel is by-the-numbers, but Vickers's prose is polished and the characters are sharply drawn. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555839642
Publisher:
Alyson Books
Publication date:
01/01/2007
Pages:
249
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Lu Vickers received her Ph.D. in English from Florida State University, where she was a Kingsbury Fellow. She has twice been awarded Florida's Individual Artist Grants for fiction, and received a $10,000 Astrea Award for fiction. Her short stories and ess

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Breathing Underwater 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent debut novel: A grand mixture of humor, depth, familiarity, strangeness, all set in smalltown North Florida-smooth, sharp writing- A must read!