The Weird Sisters
By Eleanor Brown
(Putnam Adult, Hardcover, 9780399157226, 336pp.)
Publication Date: January 20, 2011
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The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there. See, we love each other. We just don't happen to like each other very much. But the sisters soon discover that everything they've been running from-one another, their small hometown, and themselves-might offer more than they ever expected.
Eleanor Brown's writing has been published in anthologies, magazines, and journals. She holds an M.A. in Literature and works in education in South Florida but will be living in the Denver area, Colorado at pub date.
Eleanor Brown speaks with Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen about her new novel, The Weird Sisters, which imagines the lives of three sisters and their obsessive Shakespearean scholar father who prefers iambic pentameter to normal, everyday conversation. More at NPR.org
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- The Andreas family is dedicated to books, particularly Shakespeare. Would the family be different if their father were an expert on a different writer? Edgar Allan Poe, let's say, or Mark Twain? What if they were a family of musicians or athletes, rather than readers? How might that change their dynamic? Is there an interest that unites your family in the same way that reading unites the Andreas family?
"Even if you don't have a sister, you may feel like you have one after reading this hilarious and utterly winsome novel. Eleanor Brown skillfully ties and then unties the Gordian knot of sisterhood, writing with such knowingness that when the ending came, and the three Andreas sisterswho had slunk home for a rest from themselves only to find to their horror their other two sisters there as welemerge, I sighed the guilty sigh of pleasure and yes, of recognition."
Sarah Blake, best-selling author of The Postmistress
"At once hilarious, thought-provoking and poignant, this sparkling and devourable debut explores the roles that we play with our siblings, whether we want to or not. The Weird Sisters is a tale of the complex family ties that threaten to pull us apart, but sometimes draw us together instead."
J. Courtney Sullivan, best-selling author of Commencement
"The Weird Sisters is a chronicle of real women, because it tells the truths of sisters. Eleanor Brown has written a compelling novel about love, despair and birth orderthe themes the Bard himself had claimed and burnished."
Min Jin Lee, author of Free Food for Millionaires
"Brown's knockout debut about the ties that bind us, the stories we tell ourselves, and the thorny tangle of sisterhood was so richly intelligent, heartbreakingly moving and gorgeously inventive, that I was rereading pages just to see how she did her alchemy. Brilliant, beautiful, and unlike anything I've ever read before."
Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You and Girls in Trouble