She Needed Me

She Needed Me

by Walter Kirn, Judith Regan

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The narrator of this ironic first novel, Weaver Walquist, a born-again Christian and member of a militant anti-abortion group, slowly falls in love with Kim Lindgren, a pregnant junior college dropout whom he meets at a St. Paul, Minn., abortion clinic. Weaver, once a devotee of pot and heavy-metal music, wants to rescue Kim from sin by persuading her to keep the baby rather than have an abortion. This self-righteous zealot has an overwhelming need to control and dominate women; he seethes with repressed rage at his domineering mother, Margaret, a widow who runs a Wisconsin liquor store and sends him a monthly check. In spare, nervous prose, Kirn (author of a story collection, My Hard Bargain ) succeeds brilliantly in fathoming the mindset of a moralistic misogynist, but Weaver's harrowing, bleak vision casts a pall over the whole novel. Weaver's violent showdown with Lucas Boone, a Prozac-popping, knife-wielding paranoid and rapist who heads the anti-abortion squad, signals the protagonist's leap to freedom and his last-minute realization that Kim, and every woman, has the right to have control over her own body. Kim, a greeting-card designer, is not a very interesting figure, and her disapproving parents, who own a North Dakota dairy farm, are self-centered nincompoops who belie the stereotypes of wholesome farmers. Kirn's shrewd insight into Weaver's motivations saves this timely melodrama from didacticism, but just barely. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Weaver Walquist, substance abuser turned fundamentalist, meets Kim Lindgren at a most unlikely time--while he is protesting in front of the Minneapolis abortion clinic she is about to enter. Despite their differences, these two troubled individuals develop a curiously symbiotic relationship, an alliance tenuously balanced between friendship and unacknowledged love. Kim's pregnancy leads Weaver to attempt reconciliations with both their estranged families. After a disastrous visit to Kim's North Dakota home, they find refuge, and an unexpected resolution, with Weaver's mother in Wisconsin. Kirn sensitively portrays his main characters' painful emotional waltz, perfectly capturing the hesitancy and mistrust that sabotages their yearning. While the moral dilemmas of abortion play a part in this bittersweet tale, the novel focuses more on the hearts of its protagonists, touching the reader's heart along the way. Recommended for most collections.-- Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass.

Product Details

Pocket Books
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5.31(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.80(d)

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Meet the Author

Walter Kirn is a novelist, essayist, and critic living in Livingston, Montana. He is the author of "Up in the Air," "Thumbsucker," and "Lost in the Meritocracy," among other books, and currently works as the national correspondent for "The New Republic." He is currently at work on "Blood Will Out," a memoir of his ten-year friendship with the impostor and accused murderer who went by the name Clark Rockefeller.

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