How All This Started
By Pete Fromm
(Picador, Hardcover, 9780312209339, 256pp.)
Publication Date: October 2000
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The striking debut novel from award-winning writer Pete Fromm
Abilene and Austin, a sister and brother frustrated with the small-town Texas life their parents have chosen, turn to each other to escape the story they're all too tired of hearing: their father's unvarying account of "How All This Started"-how he met their mother then settled down in the middle of nowhere.
Pinning her dreams on her younger brother, Abilene becomes dead-set on making Austin a pitching star, a "fireballer" like Nolan Ryan. Swept up in her irresistible exuberance, they try, with baseball and firearms, to combat the stagnation of the Texas landscape--so fiercely it's uncertain whether either of them will survive Abilene's manic dreams.
Introducing one of the most memorable female characters in contemporary literature, How All This Started portrays with strength and subtlety the visceral bond between a brother and sister.
Pete Fromm is the author, most recently, of Night Swimming, a critically-acclaimed collection of short stories. He has published over one hundred stories, earning nominations for the Pushcart Prize, among other honors. He lives with his family in Great Falls, Montana.
“[How All This Started] is really about the mystery and terrible beauty of families and about learning what you don’t know.” —USA Today
“Raw and immediate. Abilene drives what becomes a suspenseful, heartbreaking, and ultimately redemptive adventure in growing up.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
“Pete Fromm’s first novel lays bare the raw nerve of love.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A wistful, moving first novel...a powerful and promising debut from a diligent writer" —Kirkus Reviews
“How All This Started offers a vivid perspective from the pitcher’s mound, in this case, from the West Texas desert. A gutsy effort in the manner of McGuane and McMurtry, full of mesquite, cresote and one girl’s violent encounters with herself.” —Los Angeles Times