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The Original 1982: A Novel
     

The Original 1982: A Novel

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by Lori Carson
 

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The Original 1982 is the wise and memorable debut novel of love, regret, music, and motherhood, by singer and songwriter Lori Carson of the Golden Palominos.

It’s 1982, and Lisa is a 24-year-old waitress in New York City, an aspiring singer/songwriter, and girlfriend to a famous musician. That year, she makes a decision, almost without thinking about

Overview

The Original 1982 is the wise and memorable debut novel of love, regret, music, and motherhood, by singer and songwriter Lori Carson of the Golden Palominos.

It’s 1982, and Lisa is a 24-year-old waitress in New York City, an aspiring singer/songwriter, and girlfriend to a famous musician. That year, she makes a decision, almost without thinking about it.

But what if what if her decision had been different?

In a new 1982, Lisa chooses differently. Her career takes another direction. She becomes a mother. She loves differently—yet some things remain the same.

Alternating between two very different possibilities, The Original 1982 is a novel about how the choices we make affect the people we become—and about how the people we are affect the choices we make.

Editorial Reviews

NPR
“Meaningful...Carson’s soft-lit prose never gets too romantic — and, most remarkably, she doesn’t pass judgment, instead chronicling the ups and downs of two fates unfolding with rueful realism. Mothers and others will appreciate her approach.”
PopMatters
“Carson hasn’t abandoned music completely; all the musicality of nuanced emotion can be found in the distilled beauty of her delicate prose. The music world may be losing a voice of quietly impassioned grace, but the literary world has easily and fortunately gained one.”
Booklist
“A lyrical story of love, longing, and acceptance. Beautifully imaged and authentically told, the result is a deeply meaningful exploration of an often painful subject.”
Alethea Black
“A daring, thoughtful book — delightfully unpretentious and full of love. THE ORIGINAL 1982 deftly explores the ways in which even what seem like the wrong choices can lead us in the right direction.”
Jessica Anya Blau
“THE ORIGINAL 1982 follows one woman’s what if? through a captivating double narrative that keeps the reader hooked. I fell hard for both options, and for the wise and determined narrator, Lisa, and I couldn’t stop reading until the tender, touching end.”
Christine Sneed
“Carson writes about regret, desire, and most of all, love in its many forms with grace and sensitivity. This is a novel of deep sympathy and enormous heart, an impressive debut.”
Kirkus Reviews
A debut novel that juxtaposes the narrator's memories with thoughts of what could have been had she made a different decision back in 1982. An aspiring singer/songwriter, a rebel and a developing alcoholic, young Lisa is in love with a South American musician 13 years her senior who has achieved a certain stardom and can have his pick of beautiful women. She meets him when he comes into the cafe where she works as a waitress and admires her beauty. She knows she is one of many women in his life but thinks perhaps she will be the special one when she becomes pregnant with his child. But since he makes it clear he doesn't want her to have the baby, she has an abortion, a decision she very much regrets 30 years later, when she decides to revisit it. Addressing the man, she writes: " 'Maestro, I'm not having an abortion. Get ready. You're going to have a child.' And since I'm the writer of this story, and can do whatever I want, that's what I'll do. Go back to that day in 1982." She goes on to invent a child she names Minnow, and over the course of the book, she tells her imagined daughter's story as well as her own, mixing in events that did actually happen in 1982. Reality and imagination converge in this what-if tale.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062245298
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/28/2013
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
230
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 7.86(h) x 0.58(d)

Meet the Author

Lori Carson is a singer-songwriter whose albums include Shelter, Where It Goes, Everything I Touch Runs Wild, and Another Year. A former member of the seminal band The Golden Palominos, she has contributed to the sound tracks of Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty, Kathryn Bigelow's Strange Days, Keith Gordon's Waking the Dead, and others. The Original 1982 is her first novel.

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The Original 1982 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
The_Book_Wheel_Blog More than 1 year ago
'A New Life in 1982' Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you could go back and do it all over again? If you have, then you’ll race through this book that does exactly that. Author (and singer/songwriter) Lisa Carson’s The Original 1982 is way of rewriting her life after having an abortion (this is on page 3 and is all over Goodreads, so it’s not a spoiler). Addressed to the daughters he never had, Lisa constructs an entire life for her daughter and herself from the early days of pregnancy and on through high school. Steeped in the reality that not everything is always rosy, Lisa’s daughter endures the trials and tribulations that the average girl experiences  (and then some). This was, perhaps, my favorite part about the story because when you’re rewriting your own life, you can make it anything you want it to be and Lisa opted to stay in the realm of the possible. While the description of the book makes it seem as if there is a lot of flipping back and forth between the original 1982 and the real one, the book mostly takes place in the fictitious version of the story. There are times when Lisa punctuates a story with what happened in her real life to keep the reader grounded, but mostly it served to remind me that this girl never existed. When I finished this book, I felt like I needed to go through a mourning period. I mourned the loss of Lisa’s fake life, but mostly I mourned the loss of her daughter (this isn’t some sort of veiled hint at what happened in the book; I mean that I mourned her loss because she was never real). Lisa crafted a life for her daughter that was so real and palpable that I rode the roller coaster of emotions right along with the both of them. If you’re like me, you’ve probably never heard of Lisa Carson. Turns out, she’s a musician, has a few albums, and her life in the book parallels her real life (even her made-up life is laced with truths). But when read the book, I recommend listening to some of her music first just so that you can get an idea of who she is. There are several references to her music and style of singing and it will help you get your bearings.