The Night Gwen Stacy Died
By Sarah Bruni
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780547898162, 272pp.)
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
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A debut novel and quirky love story about the adventures and mutual rescue of an Iowan girl and a mysterious stranger who calls himself Peter Parker (and begins to cast her as Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man’s first love)
Sarah Bruni is a graduate of the MFA program in Fiction Writing at Washington University in St. Louis and holds a degree in English Literature from the Univeristity of Iowa. Since growing up in and around Chicago, she has taught creative writing in St. Louis, volunteered as a writing and English tutor with youth in San Francisco and Montevideo, Uruguay, and currently lives in Brooklyn. The Night Gwen Stacy Died is her first novel.
"Sarah Bruni’s fiercely smart and delectably unpredictable first novel delivers again and again that most sought-after shiver up the spine, the chill that comes when you realize the world you thought you knew and understood is newer and stranger than you ever dared imagine. The Night Gwen Stacy Died is a genuine page-turner."
—Kathryn Davis, author of The Walking Tour "Mixed into the blustery atmosphere of The Night Gwen Stacy Died are gusts of contemporary masters, like Joy Williams, Lorrie Moore, Kelly Link, and Michael Chabon. But, like the heroes of her story, Bruni is too spirited to be confined by the voices and tales of others. The magic in the air, it turns out, is Bruni's singular voice, a spell that so easily carried me away. Bruni's debut novel gave me the sort of reading experience I always hope for but almost never find: a world that somehow both resembles the one in which I live and is also unlike any other I've ever seen or read."
—Stefan Merrill Block, author of The Story of Forgetting "A pseudo Bonnie and Clyde with Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy delusions go on the lam in Iowa and hide out in Chicago in Sarah Bruni's sterling debut, but the pleasures here go far beyond the propulsive narrative. The prose is blade-sharp, the eerie love story is leavened with moments of unforced wit, and the nuanced observations are utterly idiosyncratic. It's as if Lorrie Moore wrote a taut thriller—not an updated Western, but a modern Midwestern."
—Teddy Wayne, author of Kapitoil