Stray City

Stray City

by Chelsey Johnson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062666680
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/20/2018
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 278,291
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Chelsey Johnson received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. Her stories and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, Ninth Letter, The Rumpus, and NPR’s Selected Shorts, among other outlets. She has received fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and Signal Fire Arts. Born and raised in Northern Minnesota, she currently lives in Richmond, Virginia, and teaches at the College of William & Mary. This is her first novel.

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Stray City 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I really enjoyed all the music, clothing (and hairstyles) and food descriptions of Stray City. It was a lovely, sometimes heart-aching and often funny book. Can't wait for her next book!
Taylor Collier More than 1 year ago
Stray City takes place in the late 90's and follows Andrea Morales, a young gay woman from Nebraska, who moves to Portland for college. Here she finds her niche in the progressive community that embraces her lifestyle. She forms a new family of her choosing, who support and love and celebrate each other. They call themselves "The Lesbian Mafia". After a night of loneliness and alcohol, Andy finds herself making out with a guy. In the midst of her identity crisis, Andrea gets pregnant...a situation that shocks and appalls her friends and the Lesbian Mafia. To everyone's surprise, she decides to keep the baby. 10 years later, when her daughter Lucia becomes more curious and Andrea has to decide how much, if anything, to tell her daughter about her biological father. I found this book to be a new reading experience for me. It explored lesbian relationships with a real voice and an authentic perspective. Chelsey Johnson has done an excellent job at providing a diverse cast of characters and setting the tone for Portland in 1999. It was a great representation of an alternate view on marriage and the social norms for what a "family" represents. The themes of discovering yourself, insecurity, needing to belong and finally, finding your "people" and holding them close were relateable and genuine. Overall, I enjoyed this read. There was a very solid foundation laid out, great character development and a detailed story-line during parts 1 and 2. As for the last 1/3 of the book, I felt that it was rushed through. I would have liked a bit more of the story and closure at the conclusion, it seemed it was cut off too soon-like there were a couple of chapters missing from the book. Also, the writing switched to a third person narrative near the end of the book and that kind of threw me? Not sure if there was a point to that but it was a jarring change. I found the dialogue to be hilarious and realistic, it's hard to believe this is a debut novel!