×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Leaving Brooklyn
     

Leaving Brooklyn

by Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Ursula Hegi
 

See All Formats & Editions

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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Not as complex or inventive as Disturbances in the Field , this slim, nostalgic novel reincarnates, from a contemporary adult narrator's perspective, post-WW II Brooklyn, where conformity, sensible relationships and coherence wage an age-old battle against passion and creativity. Legally blind in one eye, 15-year-old Audrey fancies that her wandering eye, ``restless, bored with the banality of what is presented . . . escapes to the private darkness beneath the lid, with the wild dancing colors.'' Like Audrey, Schwartz possesses a secret vision that allows her to pursue a ``rampant longing to peer beneath the surfaces of things'' and locate the mythology at the core of the quotidian. These trademark talents, revealed through lyric, silver-tongued prose, compensate here for the ubiquitous eye analogies, wobbly plot contrivances (contact-lens novice Audrey admits ``a horror of inserting foreign objects into my body'' and several pages later plunges into a liaison with ``the eye doctor'') and a device--more artificial appendage than daring technique--that self-consciously merges memory and revision, fiction and autobiography. Author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal
How much of this work is fiction? How much memoir? Schwartz walks the fine line separating fiction and memoir, thereby exploring the role of memory in the creation of art. In the end, she concludes, ``If it wasn't a memory to begin with, it has become one now. . . . Memory is revision. I have just destroyed another piece of my past, to tell a story.'' The story she tells is of her adolescence, her coming of age in the sheltered world of the 1950s, and more aptly, her emergence from the sheltered life of childhood. Its central metaphor, that of the oddity of vision occasioned by a lazy, or ``bad'' eye, represents Schwartz's attempt to reconcile the sexually charged chaotic truths she discovers beneath the placid surface of her safe childhood world. Here, Brooklyn is more a state of mind, a state of unendurable innocence, than the sharply concrete place Schwartz can evoke. Recommended.-- Linda Rome, Mentor, Ohio
From the Publisher
"Stunning. Coming of age is seldom registered as disarmingly as it is in Leaving Brooklyn." —THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780983850441
Publisher:
Hawthorne Books & Literary Arts, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/05/2011
Series:
Rediscovery
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,261,028
File size:
529 KB

What People are Saying About This

Russell Banks
"The blend of lyricism and history, of memory and imagination -- all shot through with the female erotic -- is wonderful." -- Russell Banks
Maxine Kumin
"An electrifying book...It took my breath away. Audrey is everyone of us at 15."

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews