Leaving Brooklynby Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Ursula Hegi
An injury at birth left Audrey with a wandering eye. Though flawed, the bad eye functions well enough to permit her an idiosyncratic view of the world, one she welcomes in the stifling postwar Brooklyn of the 1950s. During a journey to Manhattan to see a doctor about her sight, she begins to explore the sexual rites of adulthood. But can her romance last? In this beautifully observed novel, Lynne Sharon Schwartz raises themes of innocence and escape while illuminating the rich inner life of a singular girl.
"Lynne has told me that it was her intention to have this novel “read as a memoir … an autobiographical account, when in truth it is highly fictionalized.” Audrey’s vision – intuitive, daring – mirrors Lynne’s way of writing: going beyond what it apparent; challenging that mysterious border between imagination and memory; rejecting the stiff lens of conformity.
Some writers, I believe, are born with that odd and magical way of seeing, and Lynne is certainly one of them. For us, there is no other way of seeing: we’re drawn toward the kind of beauty we find in distortion, and we come to celebrate the gift and the persistence of our odd vision."—URSULA HEGI, author of Stones from the River
"Leaving Brooklyn will stay with the reader, and remain … in our literature, a small masterpiece." —THE BOSTON GLOBE
"Leaving Brooklyn is an enormously intelligent novel about female initiation … frankly, I’ve never read anything quite like it. It’s got an odd shape … the prose is very subdued … and it still lingers in my mind." —ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO
"The blend of lyricism and history, of memory and the imagination – all shot through with the female erotic – is wonderful." —RUSSELL BANKS, author of The Sweet Hereafter and Cloudsplitter
"An electrifying book … it took my breath away. Audrey is every one of us at fifteen." —MAXINE KUMIN, author of Where I Live: New and Selected Poems
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Meet the Author
LYNNE SHARON SCHWARTZ is the author of 19 books: novels, short story collections, non-fiction, poetry, and translations. Among her novels are The Writing on the Wall, set in New York City after September 11, 2001; In the Family Way: An Urban Comedy; Disturbances in the Field; and Rough Strife. She is also the author of the widely-known memoir, Ruined by Reading, and the poetry collection, In Solitary. Her work has been reprinted in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Best American Essays, and her criticism and reviews have appeared in leading magazines and newspapers.
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