The People Who Watched Her Pass By

The People Who Watched Her Pass By

by Scott Bradfield
     
 

"Brave and unforgettable. Scott Bradfield creates a country for the reader to wander through, holding Sal's hand, assuming goodness." -Los Angeles Times

"Scott Bradfield is an otherworldy writer. There is an inarguable wholeness to [The People Who Watched Her Pass By], as in certain dreams." -Rain Taxi

"Drive[s] straight into the Zen void

Overview

"Brave and unforgettable. Scott Bradfield creates a country for the reader to wander through, holding Sal's hand, assuming goodness." -Los Angeles Times

"Scott Bradfield is an otherworldy writer. There is an inarguable wholeness to [The People Who Watched Her Pass By], as in certain dreams." -Rain Taxi

"Drive[s] straight into the Zen void at the heart of the classic road." -Bookforum

"A wake-up call shouting Bradfield's humorously erudite take on modern American life." -WOSU

In his fifth novel, Scott Bradfield delivers an arresting and unsentimental childhood voice.

Salome Jensen is three years old when she is taken from her home by the man who fixes the hot water heater. As Sal drifts through Laundromats and people’s homes, she develops a perspective of the world and an understanding of its people more meaningful than the most erudite observer could muster.

Sal is never a victim or abused, she’s simply a child providing a humorous and fresh take on society.

The People Who Watched Her Pass By is often hilarious as well as startling, and it is a poignant new contribution to the body of literature of a respected prose craftsman.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Though Bradfield's fifth novel has the premise of a thriller or a dark psychological study, it flips reader expectations with deadpan irony. At three years old, Sal Jensen is kidnapped by “the man who fixed the hot water heater.” Known to both Sal and the reader as simply Daddy, he treats her with a respect bordering on reverence, and Sal remains calm and keenly observant. (Significantly, neither Sal's original family nor home are ever mentioned.) When nosy neighbor Mrs. Anderson becomes too intrusive, Daddy soon takes off, in effect leaving Sal in the care of Mrs. Anderson, the first of several “foster families” that are revealed in strung-together and seemingly interchangeable vignettes. Most intriguing among the set pieces is the Laundromat where Sal lives for several months. Though Bradfield's (The History of Luminous Motion) wounded child's eye-view of a homogenized America isn't exactly new, he's an adept prose stylist, and his portrayal of children as symbols instead of individuals is incisive. (Apr.)
Gregory Beyer
In a book that supplies few answers, Bradfield's lavish eloquence is the presiding constant, and over time he allows brief, quenching glimpses of little Sal's character.
—The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780982015155
Publisher:
Two Dollar Radio
Publication date:
04/01/2010
Pages:
162
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.49(d)

Meet the Author

Scott Bradfield is the author of The History of Luminous Motion, Good Girl Wants It Bad, Hot Animal Love, The Secret Life of Houses, Dream of the Wolf, Greetings From Earth, What's Wrong with America, and Animal Planet.

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