Ms. Hempel Chronicles
By Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780547247755, 208pp.)
Publication Date: September 2009
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
Ms. Beatrice Hempel, teacher of seventh grade, is newnew to teaching, new to the school, newly engaged, and newly bereft of her idiosyncratic father. Grappling awkwardly with her newness, she struggles to figure out what is expected of her in life and at work. Is it acceptable to introduce swear words into the English curriculum, enlist students to write their own report cards, or bring up personal experiences while teaching a sex-education class? Sarah Shun-lien Bynum finds characters at their most vulnerable, then explores those precarious moments in sharp, graceful prose. From this most innovative of young writers comes another journey down the rabbit hole to the wonderland of middle school, memory, daydreaming, and the extraordinary business of growing up.
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum's fiction has appeared in the Georgia Review and Alaska Quarterly Review. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn, New York. Madeleine Is Sleeping is her first novel.
PRAISE FOR MADELEINE IS SLEEPING "A hallucinogenic fairy tale that veers between the clinical clarity of hard fact and a surreal mysticism . . . Bynum's lush, poetic imagery is full of vivid, sensuous details one can almost smell, taste, and feel."The Boston Globe
"...a narrative voice as unique and engaging as that in her award-winning debut. The attention to detail is spectacular."