Hummingbirds

By Joshua Gaylord
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061769016, 352pp.)

Publication Date: October 1, 2009

List Price: $25.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the November 2009 Indie Notables
“Joshua Gaylord has written a smart and edgy debut about life in a New York City all-girls prep school, a brilliant upstairs/downstairs take on the school that gives every character his or her introspective spotlight without losing the story's momentum. Astounding.”
-- David Mallmann, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI


Description

A wonderfully compelling debut novel about the intertwining—and darkly surprising—relationships between the teachers and students at an all-girls prep school Spend a year at the Carmine-Casey School for Girls, an elite prep school on Manhattan's Upper East Side: the year when the intimate private school community becomes tempestuous and dangerously incestuous as the rivalries and secrets of teachers and students intersect and eventually collide.

In the world of students, popular and coquettish Dixie Doyle, with her ironic pigtails, battles to wrest attention away from the smart and disdainful Liz Warren, who spends her time writing and directing plays based on the Oresteia. In the world of teachers, the adored Leo Binhammer struggles to share his territory with Ted Hughes, the charming new English teacher who threatens to usurp Binhammer's status as the department's only male teacher and owner of the girls' hearts. When a secret is revealed between them, Binhammer grows increasingly fascinated by the man he has determined is out to get him.

As seasons change and tensions mount, the girls long for entry into the adult world, toying with their premature powers of flirtation. Meanwhile, the deceptive innocence of the adolescent world—complete with plaid skirts and scented highlighters—becomes a trap into which the flailing teachers fall. By the end of the year the line between maturity and youth begins to blur, and the question on the final exam is: Who are the adults and who are the children?

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